‘Toxic’ factory smoke’ forces transfer of Osudoku SHS Assistant head

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The head of the Agricultural Science Department of the Osudoku Senior High Technical School at Asutuare in the Shai Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region, Martin Fianu, has told Citi News that the severe pollution by Shine Feel, a toiletries and plastics manufacturing Chinese factory in the area, compelled the transfer of the school’s Assistant Headmaster.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, he said the Assistant Headmaster who had health issues with his lungs, could no longer stay in the school as the pollution from the factory worsened.

“The Assistant Headmaster had a health issue with his lungs and because of that it aggravated his breathing mechanism. He underwent a surgery. The health problem worsened because of the factory’s fumes, and because of that he was transferred to the Amasaman Senior High School. So it is affecting both staff and the students,” he added.

School shut down

The over 1,200 students of the school were last week, a decision management took to protect them from the health hazard.

According to the headmistress of the school,  Sylvia Baaba Yankey, the decision was taken because they can no longer endure the harmful smoke emitted by the factory.

She lamented that the pollution from the company has worsened such that they had no option than 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.

Respiratory problems rampant  

The Agric Science tutor of the school, also said on the Citi Breakfast Show that respiratory problems had become very common in the school due to the toxic fumes.

“The children have been having respiratory difficulties, when they go to the hospital; the doctors accuse them of being smokers. Not only the students, the staff also. One assistant headmaster in charge of administration also suffered same.”

Asutuare farmers to lose livelihoods

Mr. Fianu also claimed that, farmers in Asuature and surrounding communities risk losing their livelihoods because of the fumes and other waste materials released into the environment from the factory.

He said tilapia production along the Volta Lake, rice production at Asutuare, as well as banana farmers, are likely to be affected.

“The waste material from their paper is dumped into a drain which leads into a catchment drain of the canal. So the canal system where the catchment drain is supposed to protect the main canal from being breached is also now under threat. And it has gone all the way into polluting the drainage system and this drainage system discharges waste water into the Volta.”

“The factory fumes, together with the toilet roll fumes are causing serious problems. If this continues, it means the rice production at Asutsuare, other agriculture producing companies like tilapia production, banana farms are all under threat because of the discharge from the factory,” the agricultural science tutor added.

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/

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