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General News of Friday, 8 February 2008

Source: GNA

Waste disposal needs stringent measures

Accra, Feb. 8, GNA - The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment on Friday tasked municipal and metropolitan assemblies to come out with stringent measures that would enable them to mobilize more funds to tackle waste disposal. Mr. Daniel A Nyankamawu, Chief Director of the Ministry noted that funds disbursed to pay off waste contractors were huge and was a worry to government.

"The Accra Metropolitan Assembly alone had tendered a request for over 7. 9 million cedi (79 billion cedis) to pay off waste contractors," he said.

Mr Nyankamawu said this when a Ghanaian/Danish waste recycling company, presented a report on a waste recycling project in Accra. The project, which is being supported by DANIDA, is focused on changing waste to compost meant for agricultural practices. It would also include recycling of card boxes and papers, iron and metal (Scraps) and plastics.

The Chief Director said the internally generated funds of the assemblies were less than 20 per cent saying, "that was woefully inadequate" and called on them to mobilize more revenue through the collection of property rates among others. Commenting on the project, he said waste-recycling management was important and "must therefore not be seen as a problem but rather a resource".

"This is because many countries, which recycle waste end up producing other materials from the waste," he added. He said most recycling firms who over the years presented programmes on recycling of waste had not been successful with project implementation.

Mr Nyankamawu emphasized the need for a clean environment through good waste management practices to maintaining a healthy environment. Mr. Isaac Edumadze, Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government, Rural Development and Environment said the nation was burdened with waste adding that no sustainable programme had been initiated to tackle it.

He was optimistic that with donors' collaboration, the project would succeed, and be replicated in the country. Captain Frederick B. Amoh-Twum (Rtd), Executive Chairman, Golden Falcon Company Limited and the Ghanaian partner to the project said the project was expected to kick-start in April this year. According to him, his company's alliance with the Danish firm would go the extra mile to train people as professionals in the sector and purchase waste from the public so that waste became a resource. Mr. Hans Hoier Nielsen, Director HOIER Resources Aps, a Danish partner said waste could not be described as a problem since it could be addressed through technology and transportation. Giving an overview of the project Mr Nielsen said the project which would be sited in Tema and Accra would be conducted in phases with six million dollars.

He said the project would also comprise waste management, a demonstration station for composting and an incineration. He said their concept was to develop a commercial waste recycling and management in Ghana.

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