THE once vibrant sanitation day exercise that saw citizens actively and collectively involved in ridding their surroundings of filth seems to have slowed down in recent times.
The suggestion has been that the government through the various assemblies nationwide, that previously spearheaded the programme, has scrapped it.
But the Accra Metropolitan Assembly has denied that the exercise has been scrapped.
The Chief Sustainability Resilience Advisor for the Assembly, Desmond Appiah, said the AMA was in the position to support communities that mobilise people to embark on the exercise.
He observed that most people rather than taking the lead to clean, lay back and brought out their domestic waste expecting the assembly to collect them and clean as well but the assembly did not encourage that.
“It hasn’t stopped. The sanitation day is not supposed to be done by the assembly, it is supposed to be done by citizens so the assembly supports. So in a situation where it has become that people close their shops so they wait for the assembly to come and clean and they bring out their waste on that day for the assembly to collect, that is not the system that we want to [encourage]. We want to put focus on enforcement,” he said.
The sanitation day exercise was in the past years a major national event that had political actors and government officials massively involved in cleaning the surroundings but that is not the current situation.
In previous years, every first Saturday of the month was declared a National Sanitation Day that saw most shops closed and limited commercial transportation activities from morning to noon to ensure that people partake in some cleaning exercise in their communities.
Poor sanitation costs Ghana $290m annually – Sanitation Minister
THE Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, says the country loses about $290 million annually due to poor sanitation in the country.
She said the amount was equivalent to $12 per person per year which translates to 1.6 per cent of the country’s GDP.
Speaking at the Meet the Press Series in Accra on Tuesday, the Minister, however, said she was hopeful that President Akufo-Addo’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city would be achieved after the end of the President’s second term in office.
“In sha Allah, the President would go for two terms and at the end, Accra would have been the cleanest and the battle is still the Lord’s. His Excellency the President is so serious with this call to all of us, to make Accra the cleanest and Ghana a clean country. He has put the Ministry of Sanitation and Natural Resource on the top priority list of government to be able to access the budget that we need,” she added.
However, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle Constituency, Ms Zanetor Rawlings, is fully convinced that the Akufo-Addo government won’t be able to achieve its dream of making the national capital, Accra, the cleanest city in Africa by 2020.
Speaking on Point Blank on Eyewitness News, few weeks ago, she noted that the almost three-year-old agenda smacked of failure as the city continued to struggle to manage waste.
“…I don’t see the necessary things in place for it to happen. You are still seeing the refuse everywhere. The amount of refuse left behind when the water receded after the flooding was quite phenomenal.”
“We are in our third year since that promise was made. Accra is nowhere near becoming the cleanest city in West Africa, let alone on the continent,” she added.
Lack of investment cause of Kpone landfill site woes – Former Tema MCE
A FORMER Chief Executive of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Mr David Annan, has blamed the current troubles of the Kpone landfill site on lack of investment.
Mr Annan was MCE when the plan for the landfill was initiated between 2005 and 2009.
But subsequent leaders have failed to build on the plants existing infrastructure.
“It saddens my heart that we only go in and dump [refuse]. I get very angry when I see the people who are the pioneers of waste management in our country today. They think about only what they are going to be paid. They don’t invest in getting it done in a manner that will bring sanity into the area. Now go there; we have more like a mountain in just a couple of years.”
There are also concerns that the trucks don’t pay enough as a dumping fee but Mr Annan said it was no excuse for the lack of financial investment.
“I would have liked that they say that the money you have given us is not good and we can’t do the work than rather go and do shoddy work and punish everybody again for it.”
Mr Annan suggested that as a temporary measure, the land around the landfill could be quickly developed to complement the main site.
“There are other pits beside it which also need to be reclaimed. It was all part of the project but they are not using those areas now. They can use them in a very engineered manner while the government and everybody think about how to get a processing plant.”
The Kpone landfill site has exceeded its available capacity and is struggling to accommodate waste from waste management companies.
There are concerns that this will take a toll on sanitation in Accra and the environment.
“If the waste still comes in high volumes, probably by June or September , there will be higher challenges of cars even climbing and it is not only about the cars. As we dump above a certain height, the emission of the gases will also have direct interference with the ozone which is going to create problems so some of these things have to be reconsidered,” the Tema Metropolitan Assembly’s representative at the Kpone Landfill Site, Mr Ernest Lanson, has said.
Crisis looms as Kpone landfill site exceeds capacity
THE Kpone landfill site has exceeded its available capacity and is currently struggling to accept additional refuse from waste management companies.
There may be a waste management crisis in the capital, Accra, if nothing is done by city authorities to forestall such a situation
“The [Kpone] landfill was designed to receive 500 tonnes of waste in a day and we receive more than that in a day,” the Tema Metropolitan Assembly’s representative at the Kpone landfill site, Mr Ernest Lanson, said on the Citi Breakfast Show.
He made the remark on the back of complaints by some management companies that their trucks had been prevented from offloading waste at the Kpone landfill site.
The Kpone landfill site’s struggles come amid reports that the Nsumia Landfill is also turning away refuse trucks over technical challenges.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, had already noted that the limited waste disposal sites in the capital was hampering government’s agenda of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa by 2020.
Statistics show that Accra generates close to 5,000 tonnes a day.
The site at Kpone receives 150 to 250 trucks a day. Managers of the site are yet to undertake phase two of the project to enable the facility to take up more waste.
With the second phase, the project, which started in 2009, was to last 12 years, according to Mr Lanson.
He explained that a lack of efficiency has contributed to the site’s current woes.
“We haven’t done enough and [with regard to] efficient compaction alongside… It has made the vertical space challenged. So now we are having to do more vertical disposal.”
The compaction problems have also made accessing the site a problem as “cars are not able to drive on the waste so they get stuck easily.”
These issues mean that by September , the challenges will worsen even further than now because it may have an adverse effect on the environment, Mr Lanson said.
“If the waste still comes in high volumes, probably by June or September , there will be higher challenges of cars even climbing and it is not only about the cars. As we dump above a certain height, the emission of the gases will also have direct interference with the ozone which is going to create problems so some of these things have to be reconsidered.”
As an alternative, he suggested that additional cells should be constructed “so that we can decommission the challenged facility now and move to the new cells.”
The Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources in October 2018 announced that the landfill site would be rehabilitated to enable it to handle more waste.
But no timelines were given.
Inadequate landfill sites threaten ‘cleanest city’ agenda – Minister
THE Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, has said that the limited waste disposal sites in the national capital is hampering government’s agenda of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa by the end of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s first term.
According to him, the only landfill site available, the Kpone landfill site, is unable to contain the amount of waste generated in the city each day.
Mr Ashitey said government was considering a deployment of technology to find an alternative means of effectively disposing of waste in Accra.
“We have only Kpone landfill site which is working. One problem we have is how to dispose of the waste. Now our waste disposal sites are not sufficient, and so we are thinking of the use of technology to manage this. So many people have come forward and very soon, others will start turning the waste into other things. If we do so, then our cities will become cleaner,” he said.
Mr Ashitey was with the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, and other officials of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Wednesday, to take delivery of two heavy-duty trucks gifted to the assembly by VIP Jeoun Transport Services.
Mr Adjei Sowah, who said the vehicles would help boost the operations of the Assembly in terms of waste collection, called on the citizenry and other stakeholders to assist the AMA to execute its mandate, especially in making Accra the cleanest city by the end of 2020 as President Akufo-Addo envisages.
Meanwhile, the Kpone landfill site is expected to be closed down soon because it is has reached its maximum capacity of waste collection.
But, the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, has said that the vision of the President to make Accra the cleanest city by the end 2020 is on course.
He said the achievement would require the collective effort of citizens and all stakeholders.
Mr Sowah made the comment after a short ceremony to take delivery of two heavy-duty dumper trucks from the VIP Jeoun Transport Company.
“It is a vision which is achievable and doable when collectively we commit to it. It is the responsibility of all of us. …Once we have bought into the vision of the President and all of us are working towards it, we could possibly achieve it probably even before the end of the first term of the President, and I believe that we are doing so well,” he said.