The Osuduku Senior High Technical School at Asutsuare in the Shai Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region, will resume classes on Friday after it was closed last week over complaints of pollution from a nearby Chinese-owned factory.
The over 1,200 students of the school including beneficiaries of the government’s Free SHS program were last week asked to go home, a decision management took to protect them from the health hazards of the activities of the factory, Shine Feel Ghana Limited.
The headmistress of the school, Sylvia Baaba Yankey, told Citi News the decision was taken because they could no longer endure the harmful smoke emitted by the factory.
She lamented that, the pollution from the company had worsened such that they had no option but to send the students home.
“The students agitated that because of the smoke they could not stay. The boy’s dormitory and the classroom block are close to the factory. Since Tuesday the stench and the smoke which for some time now has subsided erupted again. Ghana Education Service is very much aware of the situation,” she added in a Citi News interview.
Following reports by Citi News on the matter, the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], on Monday ordered the shut down of the plastic processing unit of the company.
This was after a trip to the facility by a three-man team of the EPA from Accra.
After a site tour, the EPA team concluded that, the plastic unit plant was not observing standards. Furthermore, the EPA said the company had no permit to process plastics, and was thus to shut down till a permit is issued.
“The fact of the matter is that, they are permitted to do the paper aspect of the operations. They may have been permitted for a plastic operation in Accra, but not for Asutsuare. On record, we don’t have that,” Executive Director in charge of Technical at the EPA, Ebenezer Sampong told Citi News.
Mr. Sampong indicated that, this was not the first time they were dealing with this issue as prior complaints had been made in relation to noise and the emissions.
But he added that “from our interaction with the teachers, it appears that the problem rests more with the plastic operations. So that is where we are going to focus our attention on.”
GES to tour school
Meanwhile, the Ghana Education Service [GES] will today [Tuesday], embark on a fact-finding mission to the school.
The Head of the Public Relations Unit of GES, Cassandra Twum-Ampofo, told Citi News the visit has become necessary due to the disruption of academic activities at the school due to the activities of the factory.