The Chief Executive Officer of Zoomlion Ghana limited, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong has stated that the basic solution to Ghana’s sanitation challenges is to ensure that every household has a waste bin, which is a prerequisite for effective waste management.
Dr. Agyepong, who made these remarks at a stakeholders’ forum on sanitation organized in Accra, revealed that improper waste storage continues to hinder the progress of work done by the contracted waste collectors.
He said “when these wastes are not stored in a waste bin for collection by the waste contractor, then we are rest assured that it might end up at unauthorized places, hence the urgent need to ensure that households have waste bins and sanitation regulations are enforced to change attitudes for effective waste management.”
He stated that Zoomlion’s intervention by desilting the Odaw drains has averted a possible recurrence of the flood disaster which claimed several lives three years ago.
“Despite not being paid for our desilting works on the Odaw drain, Zoomlion is still committed to desilting the Odaw drain to save lives and properties which has been a phenomenon anytime we experience a heavy downpour of rains,” he added.
Dr. Agyepong noted the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant, waste transfer stations, plastics recycling, medical waste treatment and solving Ghana’s 100-year problem of discharging waste into the sea by providing a faecal treatment plant, as some innovations introduced by Zoomlion to solve Ghana’s waste management challenges.
He added that many provisions in Ghana’s sanitation policy in terms of physical infrastructure have been constructed by Zoomlion, emphasizing that the private sector has the capacity and that there is no need to re-invent gains made to this effect.
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Adda, in his presentation, hinted of plans to deploy sanitation brigades to enforce sanitation laws and help shape attitudes towards good sanitation.
He eluded to the fact that, Environmental service providers have the capacity and there is the need for government to help them consolidate their efforts to effectively manage waste.
He commended Zoomlion for its introduction of waste trucks which has helped in managing waste and urged the company, despite debts owed it, to continually provide effective service to help solve Ghana’s waste challenge.
The Mayor of Accra, Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, who also spoke as a panelist, revealed that the polluter payment system should allow those who create the waste to pay appropriate fees to enable effective collection.
Other stakeholders at the forum agreed that waste bin distribution, waste transfer stations, composting and recycling, landfill managemet and enforcing the sanitation laws and regulations is the way to go if Ghana wants to lift itself from the waste menace.