Regional News of 2014-05-13

Accra's filth linked to govt’s Gh¢16M debt to companies

Ghana's Waste collectors and managers have linked the "worsening solid waste management situation" in the country to a Gh¢16 million debt owed them by government.

The Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) in a statement is breathing down government's neck to pay the debt which has been outstanding since April 2010.

Ghana's waste management system relies on contracted private waste collectors to dispose of waste on behalf of the local government. The waste is disposed of at designated sites including the Kpone Landfill site.

According to Zoomlion, a waste management company, only 40% of Accra’s 2,500 tonnes of waste is collected leaving the city sinking in 60% of its solid waste. This comes at a time when a determined rainy season could compound the city's health problems by spreading uncollected waste into homes and markets.

Government is owing waste management companies who in turn owe local authorities who operate landfill sites at Kumasi, Abokobi, Takoradi, and Tamale.

The statement read "currently, the Kpone Landfill Site, the only engineered landfill in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), is operating under capacity largely due to the rising indebtedness by the government, now about GHc4 million to the operator. We wish to state that the money has been outstanding since 2012".

"Similarly, the Accra Compost Plant, which has the capacity to recycle about 900 tonnes of garbage daily, is also operating under capacity due to its current financial difficulties arising out of the government's indebtedness to it. The government has not paid its due since July, 2012", the ESPA statement said.

They are assuring the public that the timely payment of the debt would "breathe life into the operations of the landfills/compost plants, and help better deal with the growing waste management challenges in the country".

The leaders of Environmental Service Providers Association are said to be meeting officials of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to discuss the matter.

Source: myjoyonline.com
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