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General News Wed, 31 Oct 2001

Govt Loses 37 million Cedis Daily ....

....Following disruption of work on new landfill site

GOVERNMENT loses ?37 million daily as a result of the action of some residents of Kwabenya to block access routes to the construction site of the new Accra landfill being undertaken by Taysec Construction.

So far, ?770 million has been paid to the construction firm, following the suspension of work on the project.

This was disclosed by the acting Director of the Waste Management Department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Ben Mensah Laryea, when he took journalists round the construction site to inspect the progress of work.

Out of the ?6.5 million British Government grant, an amount of ?3.5 million has so far been utilised on the project.

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The money, according to Mr Laryea, was used to undertake preliminary preparations and also to construct an access road to the site, among other things.

According to Mr Laryea, the people blocking access to the landfill site have no cause to do that.

“This is due to the fact that there is an agreement between the chiefs and a few affected people for the necessary compensation to be paid.

“Moreover, speculations that the landfill will have health hazards on residents are not true because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Water Resource Commission, the Urban Environment and Sanitation Project and other regulatory bodies have proved otherwise,” Mr Laryea stressed.

He, therefore, appealed to residents of Kwabenya to allow work to commence, since it is the taxpayer’s money that is going down the drain daily.

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He described the landfill project as the the state of the art technology and the best to be constructed in the country.

According to Mr Laryea, a reception area will be constructed to weigh garbage collected from the city as well as to clean the vehicles after dumping refuse.

“Trees would also be planted around the landfill site to protect the environment,” the acting director said.

Mr Laryea further stated that the only legal property near the project is a school and the owner has agreed to allow the AMA to relocate it.

If completed, the project would take care of refuse collected from the city for more than two decades.

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Mr Samuel Anku, Acting Director of Programmes of EPA, confirmed that the AMA obtained permit from the EPA before undertaking the project.

An official of Taysec Construction, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Taysec is undertaking the construction project at the Kwabenya landfill site.

He confirmed that work has come to a standstill and also that government is paying a penalty for the breach of contract.

He, however, disputed the figure of ?37 million being as quoted by the AMA but added that he could not immediately give the exact amount.

A source at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development said government is negotiating with Taysec to review its insistence on revoking of the contract agreement.

He said the country is in very difficult times now and the payment of the penalty will impose more constraints on the economy.

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