The Minister for Sanitation, Hon. Cecilia Dapaah has directed the newly created Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) to ensure that capped landfill sites within their jurisdiction remain closed and prevent the sprouting of illegal dump sites.
The Minister gave the directive when she embarked on a familiarization tour with the Metro Chief Executive (MCE) of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, to the capped Mallam landfill site, Glefe 1 landfill site, the capped Glefe 2 landfill site, the mortuary road mobile transfer station, the ICGC landfill site and also inspected the Osu Alata drain yesterday, to acquaint herself with the challenges and progress made in achieving a clean Accra.
Hon. Cecilia Dapaah outlined the provision of waste bins for city dwellers to store their waste, the provision of transfer stations as a temporal holding place for waste, the evacuation of the waste at the transfer stations and the treatment and recycling of waste, as long term solutions to making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
She stressed that the reclamation process of illegal dumpsites within the city would involve the mining of plastics and conversion of non-plastic refuse into manure, adding that, it would create employment for the youth and generate revenue for the country.
“One of the solutions is to mine plastics because it is huge money and we are doing this for the wellbeing of Ghanaians. We can engage the youth who are willing to work to come in and lift the plastics so that we don’t have any heavy trucks moving within as quickly as practicable,” she stressed.
She added that “We have seen the beautiful work done by the youth, they were sorting the paper, plastics, the glass and it is beautiful but we need to support them to encourage them. I will go and work there one of these days to feel how they work.”
She reiterated that the President’s vision to make Accra the cleanest city in West Africa by 2020 was achievable and her office was working around the clock to make it a reality, and urged all city dwellers to come on board as it was a collective responsibility.
The MCE of AMA, Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah stressed that the Assembly has taken steps and was making significant progress in achieving the ‘Clean Accra Agenda’.
He added that, tackling environmental sanitation in Accra could be categorized into six areas; solid waste, liquid waste, drain maintenance, maintenance of cemeteries, plant breeding and landscaping, and pest control, and his outfit’s concerns were to deal with those areas.
He indicated that the ‘Accra Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water Drainage Alleviation Project (ASDAP)’ popularly referred to as the ‘Conti Project’ was initiated to deal with the drainage system in the city but was confronted with challenges, which the Ministry of Works and Housing was working on.
“Partially, some of the projects are going to be undertaken under the World Bank Project which is the Greater Accra Resilient Integrated Project (GARIP), which will dredge the ‘Odaw’ river and as well as construct some transfer stations between the city center and then have rotation so that when it rains, it does not flow straight into the river. We will place holding bays that will release the water into the Odaw,” he indicated.
He stressed that, Accra was at the receiving end of all waste generated from the up streams hence the need to step up measures to curb the problem, adding that “we need to step up our work because, especially when it rains at dawn, you could see that plastic waste has been washed into the drains from the upstream Akuapem areas and then we will receive it.”
Speaking on how to tackle people building and living on waterways, Hon. Adjei Sowah recalled that the Assembly has embarked on a series of demolition exercises to remove structures on waterways to curb the perennial flooding in the city but as they demolish the structures, the people further encroach on lands close to water ways.
The MCE reiterated that he has evacuated over 42 illegal dump sites in the metropolis and was taking stringent steps to complete the evacuation of all illegal dump sites in Accra.