Ghana’s Capital Accra engulfed by waste and filth

by Kofi Ayim

Residents of Accra will have to live with the filth and stench that has overtaken the city for at least a year, according to published reports attributed to the mayor of the capital city of Ghana. For some time now household refuse has not been collected because there is basically nowhere to empty the pile. The mayor intimated that the closure of the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant on May 19 has aggravated the existing waste management problem. The plant which processes about 600 tons out of the 2000 tons or so of waste each day has been shut down and workers laid off because government is yet to settle a debt of GHC 20 million it owes the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant.
About nine waste management companies have either suspended garbage collection because of nonpayment or lack of designated disposal sites. To compound the problem, the only operating landfill at Kpong is under pressure to absorb more and operating below capacity because of frequent electricity power blackouts and brownouts. Further, the location of the Kpong landfill – about 17 kilometers from Accra – and traffic congestion is a disincentive for waste management contractors. Control of waste management is currently endemic and systemic nationwide.
A lecturer at Ashesi University Lloyd Amoah has called for a civil protest and pressure on authorities to arrest the problem. A livid opposition party member Kwabena Sarpong, has suggested that garbage be dumped on the forecourts of authorities as a wakeup call. Health and sanitation experts have warned that Accra now sits on a time bomb of health hazards and epidemic if the situation is not immediately rectified. In the interim, Accra Mayor
Alfred Oko Vanderpuye has said that an agreement has been reached with the Kpong landfill for increased work hours, while a new landfill and processing plant is being worked out and commissioned by January of 2015. Recent floods in Accra have aggrevated the situation.

Posted by on Jun 14 2014. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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