The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in partnership with Footprints Africa has held a one-day empowerment program on business development and industry best practices for 'Borla Taxi' operators in Accra.
The program which was held at the Accra City Hall on Thursday under the theme: “Empowering Informal Waste Collectors through Business Development and Industry Best Practices”, brought together informal waste collectors who operate under the identifiable group known as Borla Taxi and Tricycle Association.
The participants were taken through topics such as road safety and traffic regulations, driver licensing and vehicle registration, pension schemes for informal workers, financial literacy and Insurance policies and environmental health and occupational safety among others.
Mr Desmond Appiah, the Chief Resilience and Sustainability Advisor to the AMA who addressed the participants on behalf of the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah emphasized that the city of Accra has accepted and respects the important role the informal sector plays in the waste management chain geared towards actualising President Akufo Addo’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city.
“Hitherto the assembly's focus was on just the formal sector, but since Mayor Sowah assumed office four and half years ago he has consistently emphasised the importance of the informal sector through engagement and pushed for the introduction of transfer stations...the city respects the work of the Borla Taxi operators. If you can remember the President in 2017 said, he wants Accra to be the cleanest city. The informal sector collects 30 per cent of 3000 tons of waste generated in the city in a day. I stand on behalf of the Mayor to thank everyone in that sector,” he emphasized.
Mr Desmond Appiah also advised Borla Taxi Operators to acknowledge that there are rules and regulations guiding every activity in this country and encourage them to discharge their duties in conformity with the city authority's expectations and cited the unpleasant noise they make with loud music which needs to be curbed as an example. He added that the assembly would partner with other organisations to provide them with more training.
The Environmental Associate of Footprint Africa, Randy Adjei said his outfit was keen on supporting commercial waste management in the country.
Ing. Solomon Noi, the Director of Waste Management at AMA, revealed that the Assembly would soon review its bye-law on the operation of Borla Taxi and Tricycles where operators would have to join a registered association where training would be provided so they could operate effectively in the city.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Richard Nyarko, in charge of operations at the Accra Central Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) in an address, stated that 2,000 people die annually through Road Traffic Crashes (RTC).
He added that this could be reduced if drivers pay attention to road signs and reduce the speeds on our road.
"A driver who uses a road in Accra should not go more than 50km per hour. Also when you are driving on a road where there are markets, schools, hospitals and churches, you shouldn't exceed 30km per hour," he averred.
Other resource persons at the seminar included the Director of AMA Public Health, Madam Florence Kuukyi who spoke on the Principle of Occupational Safety and Health, and Mr John Asante Arhin a representative of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) among others.
The City of Accra was awarded in 2019 by C40 and Bloomberg Philanthropies at the sixth annual C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards for its Informal Waste Collection Expansion, for demonstrating ambitious climate action while ensuring better, longer lives for the greatest number of people, under the theme: “The future we want engages all citizens”.