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Residents, traders worried over increasing filth in Akateng

Filth In Akateng 45.png The Akateng community has been engulfed in filth

Sat, 3 Jul 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from the Eastern Region:

In spite of efforts made to ensure the cleanliness of our communities including the country’s markets in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, filth is either returning to or has engulfed most communities.

One of such communities is Akateng in the Eastern Region where a visit by GhanaWeb to the community revealed that sections of the community including the epicentre of trading and economic activities had piles of refuse accompanied by pungent smell and multitudes of flies.

Despite the unsightly scenes, especially in the market, intense trading activities were taking place.

Widespread garbage was visible on the streets, market and at the riverside with patches of filth here and there with traders having to sit and conduct business in an atmosphere of garbage.

It was also observed that only one waste container served the whole of the Akateng community of 5000 residents with the situation compounded by workers of Zoomlion who allegedly failed in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Some residents and traders GhanaWeb who spoke in an interview complained about the poor sanitation in the community.

Some of the patches of garbage gathered by the market women for instance were left unattended to in the middle of trading activities as they blamed the absence of containers for this.

This made it extremely difficult for them to escape the fetid smell.

It is not only the traders who find themselves in such an unpleasant circumstance; residents nearby also have to contend with the swarm of houseflies that invade their homes, offices and shops.

Some of them said in an interview that all efforts they had made to get authorities to place more containers and waste bins within their reach had fallen on deaf ears.

A resident and trader, madam Gifty Tudgbedzo attributed the problem to trading activities coupled with inadequate waste containers and the absence of cleaners.

“The cause of the filth can be attributed to the high number of traders here so we need a container here in which we can drop the rubbish but there’s only one here which is not enough,” she noted. “Employees of Zoomlion are also complaining that they have not been paid so they have stopped the work and this is not right because they can’t be working and not be paid.”

She said despite paying their market tolls religiously, very little is done by authorities to have the problem addressed.

Another who identified herself as Auntie Janet shared similar views with GhanaWeb. She also called on waste managers, Zoomlion to ensure the provision of adequate waste bins for use by residents.

“This place needs to be cleaned because it is really dirty. Secondly, economic activities here are very slow. Zoomlion must provide us with waste containers because their workers have stopped working and this is creating a lot of waste here so government must intervene,” she added that residents were ready to contribute their quota to support government efforts.

Another, Sarah Torgbor similarly expressed concern about the poor sanitation in the community and feared the outbreak of an epidemic. She said, “Our problem is this place is not swept after trading activities. By the time we return, this place is in a mess.

“We drink from the river and also use it for all household chores but our biggest problem is that though toll collectors come here every day for their money, there aren’t enough containers here to collect the garbage.

“We are exposed to all manner of diseases and things like this are contributory factors. If customers come and realise these are the conditions under which we trade here, they won’t even buy from us.”

Dora Agbanu also said, “The community is dirty and the Zoomlion workers are not doing their job because they say they are not being paid. The refuse containers are also not enough in the community to collect the refuse so when we sweep, the wind blows it back into the community and into the river and this is causing sicknesses here so government must help us.”

Owusu Stella also told GhanaWeb that, “There are no sanitary facilities at the lorry station so people urinate and dump human waste anywhere so we are pleading with the government to come to our aid.”

Assemblyman for Tumesi/Akateng Electoral Area, William Yaw Tugbedzo also blamed the problem on inadequate refuse containers in the community

“There is only one refuse container [in the community] and when it gets full, there is no other alternatives for waste disposal and the residents dispose of their waste indiscriminately so by Wednesday or Thursday, the whole market is engulfed in filth…at least, one more container is needed to address the problem,” he said.



According to him, the community organised communal labour from time to time, mainly to clear the garbage as he also encourages them to dig dug-outs in their various homes to contain their refuse.

Meanwhile, checks from Zoomlion Ghana Limited indicated that though there were challenges regarding payment of its workers, this has been sorted with only a few staff yet to receive their monies due to the mode of payments.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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