Members of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) have expressed their commitment to clear the heaps of debris left behind across Accra after last week’s massive rainfall and the resulting floods.
Following the destruction of properties and the huge piles of garbage strewn about, the association considers it that a timely clearance of the filth, described as an emergency situation, would avert an outbreak of disease.
According to the Executive Secretary of the association, Ms Ama Ofori Antwi, at the moment all the members of the association are spread throughout the metropolis clearing rubbish and working to improve the general conditions of the environment.
Already, she said, tonnes of garbage had been cleared from areas such as the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Abossey Okai, Avenor, Asylum Down, the Sraha and Makola markets and parts of the central business district of Accra since the exercise began on Friday, June 5, 2015.
Ms Ofori Antwi said the ESPA took the decision to intervene after a meeting it had with the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Collins Dauda, on Friday, June 5, 2015. She said at the meeting, the minister called on contractors with the requisite equipment to help clear the city of filth.
She said contractors taking part in the clean-up exercise included Zoomlion Ghana Limited, J. Stanley Owusu Company Ltd, Asadu Royal Waste Ltd, Liberty Waste Company, Meskworld Company, Yafuru Enterprise Ltd, Platinum Municipal Services, Jekora Ventures Ltd and Aryeetey Brothers Company Limited.
The ESPA executive secretary said a temporary transfer station, known as Conti, near the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, was being used to hold the garbage during the day until evening when traffic on the Accra-Tema Motorway was reduced so that contractors could have easy access to the Kpone engineered landfill site near Tema.
“The exercise will be going on till all refuse in the city is cleared,” Ms Ofori Antwi said.
She added that considering the enormity of the task ahead, those contractors with specialised equipment, such as Zoomlion and the J. Stanley Owusu Company, had become duty-bound to work in areas other than those that are part of their quota. According to her, J. Stanley Owusu Company was pivotal in the evacuation exercise since it was the only company with an excavator.
Ms Ofori Antwi further indicated that ‘bola taxi’ operators were also playing key roles in removing garbage from communities that were inaccessible to the huge trucks used by the mainstream waste management companies.
The ESPA is undertaking the emergency clearance of filth in Accra in collaboration with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), with support from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Ms Ofori Antwi has appealed to residents to stop dumping garbage into drains and other open places in order to ensure the free flow of water when it rains.
She observed that Accra appeared to be generating more than the 2000 tonnes of garbage estimated by the AMA. She said some communities close to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle (Avenor for instance) had failed to register with any solid waste management company. Instead, residents in these communities dump their refuse indiscriminately into a number of drains in the area and these get choked, leading to flooding whenever it rained.
By Naa Lamiley Bentil