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Regional News of Friday, 7 March 2014

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Oblogo residents demonstrate against stench from dumpsite


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Scores of residents of Oblogo last Wednesday staged a demonstration to register their displeasure with the smoke and stench that emanate from an old-quarry-turned dumpsite.

According to them, neither rain nor sunshine offers the people on the upper side of Oblogo any solitude as the smoke worsens when the sun shines. On the other hand, the stench and flies become unbearable when it rains.

The demonstration was, therefore, to compel the authorities to address the problem.

It took the intervention of the Assembly member for the area, Mr Edmund Cudjoe, to disperse the crowd.

Mr Solomon Nekasen, a resident whose house is very close to the dump site, said he was looking for money to get another accommodation so he could pack out.

The smoke and stench were intense but Mr Nekasen said, “ as for today, it has come down small. Madam, we are really suffering here. It is difficult to breathe. You have to help us,” he pleaded.

He said he moved to the area about seven months ago but it was only about two months ago that they (the people) started experiencing this nightmare.

Background

Mr Cudjoe described the situation as unacceptable, indicating that “the Ga South Municipal Assembly has done virtually nothing about the problem”.

According to him,the plight of the residents started about two months ago when fire erupted from a dumpsite in the area being managed by one Mr Stanley Owusu contracted by the assembly to cap the rubbish. Environmental experts have indicated that fire could erupt from dumpsites as a result of the methane gas which gets trapped underneath the rubbish.

He said with the timely intervention of the SCC Fire Station, the fire was brought under control but it re-ignited about a week ago, and had become a source of worry to the residents and pupils in the Oblogo DA JHS and Primary School.

Ga South reacts

The Public Relations Officer of the Ga South Municipal Assembly, Mr Elliot Adom, however, dismissed the allegation that the assembly was not doing anything to reduce the suffering of the people. He said it was the assembly that invited Mr Owusu to cap the rubbish because of the health hazards it posed to residents. He said the assembly would ensure that the capping process was hastened.

Stanley Owusu explains

Mr Owusu told the Daily Graphic that even though the site belonged to him, it was the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) that dumped garbage there, and should have, therefore, capped it to reduce any negative environmental impact.

That notwithstanding, Mr Owusu’s company is undertaking the capping of the dumpsite, and hopes to finish soon.

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