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General News Fri, 16 Jan 1998

AMA Chalks 90 Percent Success

Accra (Greater Accra), 15 Jan.,

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly today admitted its failure to manage all waste in the city last year but claimed it was able to chalk about 90 percent success in the collection of old garbage dumps. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Elliot Adom, Public Relations Officer of AMA, attributed AMA's inability to manage waste efficiently to population influx. He said Accra, with its over 3.8 million residents, has an average of over one million migrants each day who add to waste creation in the system. The PRO also attributed the waste management problems to residents who violate AMA bye-laws and are not punished by the courts when arrested. "We have over 500 sanitation cases before the courts as at now". He attributed the 90 percent achievement in the clearing of old rubbish heaps to the increase in the number of private contractors from 19 in 1996 to 44 last year. "The activities of these private contractors, which involves clearing of drains and street sweeping helped in the prevention of flooding during the rainy season". Mr. Adom said due to the cumbersome manner in which building permits are obtained, a lot of people take advantage to built at unapproved sites, causing problems to themselves and the public during the rainy season. To prevent such occurrences, the AMA has streamlined the number of steps required for obtaining a building permit from 22 to four. "Residents have therefore been warned to ensure that they obtain the required permits before structures are erected." "Any structure found in an unapproved place will be pulled down." Mr. Adom said in terms of revenue, although the AMA budgeted 10 billion cedis, it was able to collect six billion cedis which was an increase of 20 percent from the previous year's. A little over five million cedis was used in renovating 25 school buildings within the metropolis. Mr. Adom attributed the failure of his outfit to meet the expected revenue target to "the unwillingness of residents to pay their property and business rates," adding that "this would not be tolerated this year." A vigorous campaign will be mounted to educate as well as arrest recalcitrant who fail to pay. He said this year, the AMA will prosecute vigorously all those found defecating along the beaches as well as the springing up of unauthorized structures and markets. This package consists of a total capital requirement of 1.2 million cedis out of which the AMA would pay 600,000 cedis and the landlord would bear the remaining part. Mr. Adom entreated all landlords to own at least a KVIP because all those who do not have toilet facilities in their homes will be dealt with.

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Gri.

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