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Regional News of Monday, 24 June 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Wa Municipal landfill site to be relocated after community agitation

A landfill located at Siiriyiri in Wa West District but managed by Wa Municipal Assembly has been earmarked for relocation after agitations by community members over health concerns, according to a top environmental officer.

Officials of Wa Municipal have identified a proposed site and have already initiated the process of procurement for engineering works to begin immediately.

Mr Paul Baba Mornah, the Wa Municipal Environmental Health Officer, who was speaking with the GNA, said the old landfill at Siiryiri had not been engineered and could not contain effluence from the waste.

However, he said, the new site would be engineered to properly manage both liquid and solid waste.

The site would be reclaimed after relocation of the landfill so that it could be reused by the community, Mr Mornah said.

The Siiriyiri landfill was acquired by the then Wa District and Zoomlion Ghana Limited, the company contracted by the Wa Municipal Assembly to manage waste products in the municipality, had been dumping.

Siiriyiri residents, particularly women and children, had access to the site because it was poorly managed, exposing them to sanitation-related diseases like cholera.

Attempts by the community youth in June 2018 to block waste management company Zoomlion Ghana from further dumping waste there resulted in a scuffle with military men intervening, leaving many people wounded.

Mr Iddrisu Maaludong, the Chief of Siiriyiri, said children often abandon classrooms in search of scraps including food products on the landfill.

”Our children will not go to school, they go there to pick some items. My grandson ever went there and a bottle cut him and he died,” he said.

He said community leaders were earlier told that the site would be used for manufacturing fertilizer which many of them, mostly farmers, readily accepted and gave out the land freely to the Assembly.

That was the time the first NPP [New Patriotic Party] government was in power, the Chief said: “From that time till now we have not seen any fertilizer factory”.

A resident of the community, Mr Salia Eliasu, claimed authorities from Zoomlion Ghana had alluded to their concerns and agreed to relocate the landfill but the process was delaying.

The three months deadline the Company and the Wa Municipal Assembly set to relocate elapsed in March 2019 and now a new date has been set for December 2019, he added.

He said the community was in the process of drafting a document that will indicate when and how the relocation would be done.

The document is expected to be jointly signed by Zoomlion Ghana, Siiriyiri Community and Wa Municipal Assembly.