According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), six hundred out of the 2,800 tonnes of solid waste generated in Accra are left uncollected daily resulting in the current sanitation challenges in some suburbs of the city.
Similar situations persist in other cities nationwide. This was made public at a forum on the state of waste management in Ghana held in June, 2014 in Accra. It formed part of activities marking the EPA’s 40th anniversary celebration. Stakeholders at the forum engaged in deliberations on appropriate measures and systems to be taken to reduce and eliminate all forms of environmental degradation and how to sustain the environment.
Speaking at the forum on the state of waste management in the country, the Deputy Director of the EPA, Mrs Cindy Badoe, attributed problems associated with waste management in Accra to poor planning by institutions mandated to do so. She said unplanned human settlements; the lack of political will to enforce bye-laws on sanitation and building regulations by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have also contributed to the sanitation problem. She added that, increased population growth and rapid urbanisation had also contributed to the increased volumes of waste generated daily in the cities.
Meanwhile, stakeholders of waste and environmental management including: The Environmental Services Providers Association (ESPA), The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), are blaming the situation on the lack of waste management infrastructure like sanitary landfill sites, among other causes.
On the way forward, Mrs Badoe recommended the intensification of public awareness and education on sustaining the environment and a political commitment to waste management in solving the problem. “Waste recycling, incineration, adopting the waste to energy technology, composting and setting up transfer stations will also help address the problem,” she added.
Additionally, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), said for its part, the assembly was rolling out a programme under which 8,000 waste bins would be distributed to households to ensure waste segregation at source.
Acknowledgement: Ghana Daily Graphic of 30-06-2014