-Robert Kwaku Adjei, ACCRA
HAJIA Alima Mahama, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, has commended Zoomlion Ghana Limited for making another laudable move to tackling the sanitation challenges facing the country.
The Honourable Minister could not hide her joy as Zoomlion made another strategic intervention to boost efforts towards making Ghana clean. “I will hasten to commend Zoomlion Ghana Limited, our key private sector partner. Indeed, your outfit keeps springing up surprises to augment the ministry’s efforts and that is very commendable. We need more of your kind to completely nip in the bud the waste management menace facing this country,” the Honourable Minister said.
The Local Government and Rural Development Minister said this in a speech read on her behalf at a ceremony organised by Zoomlion Ghana Limited at the Forecourt of the State House, Accra, to unveil 10 new mechanical street sweepers. The short ceremony was christened “Delivering Effective and Efficient Service Approach to Ghana’s Waste Challenge”.
The Hon Minister also stated that she expected Zoomlion to collaborate with the beneficiary Assemblies in the country to ensure smooth deployment of the street sweepers in order to maximize the associated benefits to Ghanaians.
She said she believed that the innovative strategic equipment would contribute significantly towards attainment of the President’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa. She charged the users of the facilities to cultivate the culture of maintenance to ensure they lasted long.
In a keynote address, Ishmael Ashittey, the Honorable Greater Accra Regional Minister, said he was excited about the appropriate timing of the arrival of the street sweepers as, according to him, some of the major and ceremonial roads and streets had become receiving grounds for filth. He criticized the attitude of many Ghanaians towards environmental cleanliness. He noted that it was a common spectacle to see people litter the streets and expected sanitation workers to clean.
That kind of behavior, he said, was counter-productive and would not auger well for us as a nation. “Though the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are trying hard to improve on their solid waste collection rates, we as citizens need to support them by dumping waste only at the designated places”, he said, and added that it would make waste collection less cumbersome and reduce cost of waste collection and disposal services.
The Honorable Regional Minister appreciated the urgent need to place appropriate waste collection bins at public places for easy access by passersby, and charged the citizenry to play their part in making Ghana a clean country.
Dr Agyepong on 2019 Agenda
Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, Executive Chairman of Zoomlion / Jospong Group of Companies, noted that the introduction of the street sweepers would also help minimize the risk of vehicular accidents encountered by some of the Youth Employment Agency’s cleaners along the major ceremonial roads with high rate of vehicular traffic.
Dr Agyepong enumerated some of the projects and activities earmarked for 2019 in dealing with environmental sanitation challenges in response to the President’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa. They included the One Million Bin Distribution Project to households to reduce the disease burden associated with poor sanitation in Ghana. This project, initiated with a US$10 million credit facility from ECOBANK, had been launched in the Ablekuma North constituency in Accra.
He also mentioned collaboration with the Church of Pentecost on Environmental Care Campaign to ensure the effective implementation of One-House-One-Dustbin policy with the church and also build community awareness to cleanliness. Similar invitations had been extended to other religious bodies to come on board this year as we intensify our effort to support the attainment of the sanitation vision of the President.
He lauded the collaboration of the Chief Imam, His Eminence Sheik Usman Nuhu Sharubutu, and other Imams, for partnering to educate the members of the Islamic Faith on environmental cleanliness and said his outfit was poised to intensify the collaboration.
He also mentioned his Organisation’s construction of liquid waste treatment plant in Kumasi in partnership with Pureco Limited from Hungary, plans that had been concluded to build a Transfer Station at Mallam in Accra and discussions among industry players under the hierarchy of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) to impact sector policy inputs.
Other activities of the JGC to ensure a clean environment that Dr Agyapong mentioned included providing the informal sector (Tricycle Riders) with tricycles to boost their complementary role in waste collection, deepening collaboration with the media to help reach out to sensitize the communities and a collaboration with the Ghana Prisons Service collaboration with Zoomlion to fight against the waste challenges.
Operations of the trucks
Mechanical street sweepers are vehicles used to keep roads, pavements and other hard surfaces clean and free from debris.
The conventional street sweeper uses jets underneath the vehicle to spray water onto the road surface. This helps to loosen particles and reduce airborne dust. Brushes then scrub the dirt off the surface, while a cylindrical broom-like brush sweeps the debris onto a conveyor belt which leads to a storage container, or hopper, inside the vehicle.
The street sweepers lay an important role in cleaning up litter and preventing pollutants from entering the environment. Regular street sweeping reduces the likelihood of pollutants entering the drainage system. By keeping the gutters and drains clear this also reduces the chances of flooding in the event of heavy rain. Present at the ceremony were Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, traditional leaders, the academia, and a section of Zoomlion/ Jospong workers.