INTEGRATED waste management solutions provider, Zoomlion Ghana Limited and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Africa, have launched an ambitious project to rid the populous Nima community of the staggering levels of filth engulfing the community.
An army of Zoomlion staff and various interest groups were deployed into the community and supported by an assortment of equipment to clean up the garbage-choked parts of the municipality and desilt drains, especially along the Nima storm drain.
Indeed, but for timely intervention of the two parties, last Monday’s heavy rains in the capital could have caused great havoc to residents – the possibility of flooding aside, it could also lead to the eventual outbreak of cholera and other communicable diseases which could have had a heavy toll on the lives of the people.
The 1.2 km storm drain constructed as part of an urban expansion project by Queiroz Galvao, a Brazilian construction firm, has left trenches along the drain which residents have filled with garbage and liquid waste predisposing them to communicable diseases, among other health threats.
WASH Africa, the initiators of the sanitation project, on the theme, ‘One Community at A Time’, in partnership with Zoomlion Ghana Limited, mobilised assembly members, youth groups, traditional leaders, among others, to engage in the cleaning and public sensitisation programme.
The President of WASH Africa, Ambassador Ashim Morton, who led the team to undertake the exercise, in an interview explained that the project was designed to be a sustained initiative geared towards achieving improved sanitation in Nima and its satellite communities.
He disclosed that the team provided waste bins along the drain for residents to dump waste into them and depart from the practice of using the shoulders of the drains as hosting grounds for their refuse.
In order to record the desired effect, Amb. Morton stressed that Africa’s leading waste management experts, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, would frequently collect the bins for discharge.
A key feature of this project is that selected youth from the community have been engaged as enforcers to compel residents to resort to dumping of litter into the waste bins.
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who inspected the exercise, bemoaned the rate at which residents disposed of refuse indiscriminately into drains and called for strict enforcement of the sanitation laws by the municipal assemblies.
Accompanied by the Municipal Chief Executives of Ayawaso East and North, the Minister of Sanitation called on the Chairman of the Ayawaso Council of Chiefs, Chief Moro Baba Issa, to solicit his support to engage the community members on the need to keep their surroundings clean.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, who was also present, charged all stakeholders to support the initiative.
The Accra Zonal Manager of Zoomlion, Mr Ernest Morgan Acquah, who also toured the site with his team of experts, explained that the company provided the needed logistics such as excavators, pay loaders, wheelbarrows, waste compaction trucks and personnel, among others, to clean and sustain the sanitation programme.
He said as the power house of waste management in the country, the company would continue to involve all stakeholders to ensure that Nima and its surroundings were kept clean at all times.
Zoomlion’s waste compaction vehicles were seen visiting homes collecting waste as some of the assembly members were busily educating residents on the need to keep their surroundings clean.
-Story: James Deku, ACCRA