General News of Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

AMA suspends dumping at Achimota site

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) will, from tomorrow, Thursday, January 10, 2013, suspend the dumping of garbage at the Achimota dump site.

The assembly has, consequently, begun covering the dump site with laterite as part of measures to reduce the nauseating stench which has engulfed the area and surrounding communities in recent times.

The move, according to the Head of the Waste Management Department of the AMA, Mr Anderson Blay, came on the heels of deepening public outcry over the dumping of Accra's solid waste in the sub-urban community.

As part of measures to control the stench, the department has also intensified its fumigation of the site to bring down the pungent stench prior to the closure.

When the Daily Graphic visited the dump site, which is close to the Achimota Lorry Terminal, yesterday, 10 trucks had lined up to fill the dump which has become a receptacle for most of Accra's garbage since June last year.

The diversion of some refuse trucks from the Achimota dump site to Abokobi, according to the attendant at the site, Mr E. A. Tetteh, had significantly reduced the number of trucks that tipped their garbage at the place, which is completely surrounded by residential and commercial properties.

Currently, all the 17 solid waste contractors, including Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Meskworld; Stanley Owusu and Asadu Royal Waste, have all been dumping the garbage they collect from across the length and breadth of the national capital at Achimota.

Mr Tetteh said the AMA was working hard to reduce the stench, since the dump site was located in the heart of a thriving urban area.

Health experts indicate that the prolonged inhalation of the stench from the site could cause nausea, headache, drowsiness, fatigue and respiratory problems to residents.

Consequently, the residents have threatened to go on a demonstration to compel the AMA to stop waste trucks from dumpjng waste at the place, which the assembly appears to have obliged.

Mr Blay intimated that the assembly had turned to Abokobi in the Ga East municipality and the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant at Adzen Kotoku, which has the capacity to recycle about 600 tonnes of garbage daily to manage its solid waste.

The Abokobi-dump site had also in the past generated a lot of public agitation with constant smoke spewing from the dump into homes but Mr Blay gave an assurance that measures were being taken to control the smoke.

The Accra metropolis is estimated to generate 2,200 tonnes of garbage daily and an engineered landfill is badly needed to manage this waste.

An official of the AMA indicated that the only trump card left for the assembly was the Sonitra pit, being claimed by two contractors, Meskworld and Zoomlion Ghana Limited, currently battling the case in court.