A sanitation crisis in Accra is looming because the Kpone landfill site, the only final refuse destination station in the national capital, is almost full.
According to the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, the Kpone landfill site would be full in a year and a half’s time but there was currently no alternative site.
Addressing participants at a workshop in Accra on Tuesday to find ways of dealing with Accra’s filth, Mr Sowah said: “We have only one landfill site.”
But the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, provided a ray of hope. The workshop, dubbed: “Ghana Action Series”, formed part of the OneGhana Movement’s ongoing citizen responsibility campaign dubbed: “The Rightway Initiative”.
The campaign is designed to reorient Ghanaians on the philosophy of good citizenship and basic propriety in their public and private lives.
The first leg of the programme was on the theme: “Environmental discipline – Dealing with filth in Accra”. It is estimated that Accra generates nearly two million metric tonnes of solid waste per year, approximately 67 per cent of which is organic matter.
The rate of waste generation is approximately 0.5 kilogrammes per person per day.
Mr Sowah said the issue of waste management needed to be structured well for waste to be collected 24 hours non-stop.
He said collecting waste non-stop could lead to solving about 50 per cent of the sanitation issues in the capital.
Mr Adda told the participants that some landowners had agreed to release 60 to100 acres of land to support waste management activities in the capital.
He said he was to meet the landowners after the workshop to map out strategies for the release of the land, which would be used as a transfer station for waste segregation and recycling.
He said the government had released GH¢200 million for waste management activities, adding thay it had a four-year and 30-year sanitation plan aimed at making Ghana one of the cleanest cities in the world.
The other speakers at the event, namely, Rev. Dr Joyce Aryee of the Salt and Light Ministries; Mr Kofi Abokyi, the Rector of the GIMPA School of Law and member of the OneGhana Movement; Prof. Martin Oteng-Ababio, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, Mr Harold Esseku of the Ghana Institute of Engineers and Mr Senyo Hosi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), as well as some participants, were unanimous in their opinions that Ghana needed a complete paradigm shift towards fighting filth in the capital city and other parts of the country.
They also urged Ghanaians to be responsible in waste disposal, while charging the authorities to come up with comprehensive policies on managing waste in the country.
Prof. Oteng-Ababio was emphatic that Ghana needed a comprehensive research to build data on the kind of waste generated and how it could be managed.
He said the last time Ghana conducted such a comprehensive research was 1993.
A participant suggested that television stations should come up with a policy to use a minute to shame persons who littered the environment.
A statement signed by the Coordinator of The OneGhana Movement, Ms Baaba Enchill, and issued in Accra highlighted some of the topics to be discussed as how to fix the rapid urbanisation and the uncontrolled urban sprawl; poor coordination of agencies in the sanitation value chain; solutions to bringing the negative attitude of the citizenry and inadequate enforcement of regulations to an end, as well as finding cost-effective green technologies to promote sanitation.
The campaign is a spin off from the broader objective of The OneGhana Movement to provide leadership in social mobilisation for action and attitudinal reform.
In that regard, the Rightway Initiative is a socio-cultural and behavioural change initiative aimed at impacting and adjusting the attitudes of citizens to seek to do things right in the interest of Ghana.
Managing waste has become a big problem in Ghana. The urban areas are consistently confronted with sanitation challenges.
With urbanisation crossing the 50 per cent mark in Ghana, the problem is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years if nothing is done now.
The OneGhana Movement is collaborating with Citi FM and the GIMPA Law School to organise a policy roundtable aimed at making Accra a clean city.
Source: Daily Graphic
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