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Regional News Fri, 30 Jul 2004

Agyemenkata residents reject report on Landfill

Accra, July 30, GNA- The People of Agyemankata, a community near Kwabenya, on Friday rejected a technical committee's report on the Kwabenya Landfill Project.

A release, signed by some residents and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said: "We will continue to oppose the sitting of the project here unless it is taken far away from human settlement even if it will cost our lives."

The release noted that the committee was ignorant that on landfills, the Local Government Act permitted one-kilometre radius away from human settlement and on Engineered Landfills, the EPA permitted two kilometres from human settlement.

A Technical Advisory Committee set up by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) on the Kwabenya Landfill Project on Wednesday presented its final report to Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, in Accra.

The committee recommended that the boundary of land required for the landfill be reduced by 250 meters all round.

It also gave the Government the option of re-locating the site to the south-eastern end of the area where land development was limited. The release said their community was too close to the proposed landfill, and reducing the buffer zone would not make the landfill viable because ACP Pokuase New Town also bordered the area. "If the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) cannot take us to court to evict us, then her agents too must not come here to work. We have made it clear in a letter to the AMA.

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"We are also Ghanaians. We have the right to protect our properties and to protect our health too", the release said. The community advised the World Bank to abstain from the landfill issue.

"We will never accept compensation from the government of Ghana and we will never live by a refuse dump too whether the buffer zone is reduced or increased because of its hazards," the release said.

The technical committee stated in its report that as much as possible, "the boundary of land required for the landfill, including land required as buffer, should be revised to exclude nearly 229 plots of land that are either developed or have already been allocated for development by the land owners".

The report had stated that the cut-off size of about 250 meters all round, out of the original 106 hectares, would become the new buffer zone. It would be planted with trees to absorb all the gases that would be emitted from the landfill.

It said: "It is technically possible to exclude the lands at the centre of the controversy and still have an adequately sized sanitary landfill at Kwabenya to serve the overall interest of the city."

Source: GNA
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