Members of the environmental service providers association (ESPA) want the illegal refuse dumping at the mallam market in Accra closed immediately in order to avert another national disaster, considering that the rains in Accra were yet to intensify.
According to the Executive Secretary of the (ESPA),Ms Ama Ofori Antwi, the dumping, which is sited on a wetland right behind Mallam market, posed enormous environmental and health risks to the hundreds of people who live in that part of the capital as well as patrons of the market.
Wetlands plays an important role, particularly during the raining season by holding water and releasing it gradually to avoid flooding.
According to Ms Ofori Antwi, appalling conditions were being made worse by the existence of a slum that was developing close to the dumping.
She expressed disappointment in the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) for failing to halt the practice of dumping of refuse illegally at the site months after the association had expressed concern over the situation.
Ms Antwi called on the AMA to order a stop of activities at the mallam market refuse dumping site and evacuate the refuse to an appropriate landfill site as a means to safeguard the health and wellbeing of residents, traders and patrons of the market.
According to reliable sources, ever since the executives of the market renewed efforts to reclaim from the wetland sometime last year, the area, which use to be an international recognized bird sanctuary had so far received over 350,000 ton of refuse.
During the day, there about 150 ‘boola taxis’ that comes to dump waste at the site. At close to 100 vehicles and refuse carrying trucks also dislodge their waste there.
“This is disaster in waiting and we must not look on till the worse happens before we act. What is even more serious is that the illegal waste dumped has blocked waterways and some drains in the vicinity, further putting the lives of residents, traders and costumers in danger. I am appealing to the AMA, therefore, to act now”, she stressed.
Ms Antwi said the ESPA, which is an umbrella of all waste contractors in the country, a no dumping into drains campaign to ensure that all channel were free when it rained.
Accra currently does not have a dumping site and the grounds behind the mallam market has become a major site for waste generated in the metropolis.