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General News Mon, 19 Nov 2001

Kwabenya community sticks to guns - landfill is dangerous

The Women of Agyemankata Kwabenya have joined in the chorus of protests against the establishment of a landfill site in the area by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and petitioned Parliament to reconsider the decision.

In the petition signed by Ms Irene Gyawu, chairperson of the community, copied to the Press on Friday, the women said AMA ignored laid down procedures by the state for land acquisition and also did not follow the State Lands Act.

It said prior to the project's implementation, AMA was to create awareness about the new landfill in the community and its surroundings but it did not bother to do it before work started.

The AMA has had a series of problems in finding a suitable landfill site for rubbish from the city. Various communities at Gbawe, Malam and Kwabenya have been protesting against the location of the landfill site in their areas.

"It is known all over the world that landfills are dangerous because of their hazards," they wrote.

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They said the composition of a landfill was a bottom liner, a leach ate collection system, a cover and a natural hydro-geologic setting.

The women said AMA's claim that 70 per cent of work had been done at the site was not true.

"What has been done is a catch water drain to divert clean run off from the flanks of the valley away from the waste mass.

"We are therefore petitioning Honourable Members of Parliament to consider the dangers a landfill poses on the communities and site the landfill far away from human habitation, for peace to prevail in the area than the Police guarding the workers on site which is undemocratic.

"We want to make it clear that we the families staying around the project will not move. Let us save human lives and forget about what have been spent. The money wasted is due to someone's negligence of duty. Kindly bring him to justice to save mother Ghana", the letter said.

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Meanwhile, the community has also asked the British Department for International Development (DFID) who are funding the project to stop until a new site was found.

A letter signed by Mr A. Asiedu Amoako, Chairman of the community said this was because the AMA had not satisfied the legal requirements on the negative impact the project would have on them.

It said although sufficient money had been provided, no education had been given to sensitise the communities.

It said the cottages scattered around the project, which rely on a community school had been overlooked, adding: "When the school is relocated, the pupils who already walk long distances to school will drop out of school."

Source: --