The Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, has ordered the closure of a Chinese Tomato paste factory operating unlawfully in the Ga West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
The tomato factory, which belongs to some Chinese expatriates, was fined GHc 15,000 by the EPA in August 2017, for operating illegally whilst the company was also ordered to halt any form of production.
[contextly_sidebar id=”lrkPwGD79mdJiizpRWn4NUHnAydjoHQ7″]However, the management of the tomato factory violated the order and resumed full production in November.
Residents of Korleman City, an estate at Kuntunse in the area where the Chinese factory operates, have since raised concerns about how the activities of the company, which they say is affecting through noise, air and environmental pollution.
The residents, who held a meeting with the MCE in a bid to get him to ensure the company’s closure and subsequent relocation, accused him of rather shielding the company at the expense of their health.
The EPA on the other hand, appeared adamant, after their initial orders were disrespected with the tacit support of the Ga West Municipal Assembly intervened.
A statement signed by Prof. Frimpong Boateng and copied to the Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Flagstaff House, the Chief Executive Officer of the area among others, pointed out that several attempts to get the Tomato Factory to stop production had been unsuccessful.
“It has come to my notice that contrary to several directives to stop production of canned tomato paste at the Kuntunse (i.e production , packaging, warehousing etc.), you continue to operate in violation of your obligation under EPA Act 1994, Act 490, and the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999, LI 1652.”
Quoting section 14 of the EPA Act, 1994, the Minister therefore ordered that the Tomato Factory “stops production of canned tomatoes and comply with the enforcement notice with immediate effect.”
“I am by this letter also directing the Divisional Commander Ghana Police Service, Amasaman, to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with this directive. Take Note and Notice is hereby served that any person who hinders or obstructs any other person acting under this section commits an offence and is liable to prosecution.”
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana