..…..Zoomlion Boss Begs Media
The Executive Chairman of the JOSPONG Group of Companies, Joseph Siaw Agyapong, has applauded the media in the vigorous campaign it waged to get government attention in the campaign against illegal mining (Galamsey), saying same attitude and commitment should be adopted towards sanitation.
Mr Agyapong, who described the campaign as admirable and to some extent successful, said same attention should be shifted to the sanitation menace.
According to him, the media remains the most valuable tool left to drive the sanitation campaign, as all attempts to use other means over the years, have yielded not much result.”We have no formula again. Where we are, we are limited”.
Speaking after a tour of some of his waste treatment plants and landfill site in the national capital and Tema on Saturday, Mr Agyapong said, successive governments from Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah to President Akufo-Addo, have shown commitment and done their bit, yet the situation appears to be worsening, owning to several factors.
Mr Agyapong, identified sustainability has remained the bane of the campaign.
He went on to applaud the contributions of other stakeholders, including chiefs and opinion leaders, but said the time has come to shift focus and bring the media on board to lead the campaign.
Mr Agyapng said, from the perspective of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), a group of waste management companies, they are convinced the media appears to be the only alternative left now in the campaign to achieve the needed result.
He said, the time has come for the media, to put the agenda of sanitation, at the front burner and ensure that it becomes part and parcel of daily discussion both on radio and television and also in the newspapers.
Mr Agyapong, who is known to have invested hugely in the sector, said Zoomlion, a subsidiary of JOSPONG group, has developed a 50 year development plan towards the sanitation drive, but called for the commitment of everybody, especially the government and the media, to make the plan work.
He said, going into the future, Ghana needs to look at waste as resource like others in Dubai and Qatar have done, saying it needs not to consider only gold, oil, diamond and the others, as the only resources it has.
Zoomlion has partnered government to employ over 45, 000 youth across the country aimed at getting the country clean at all times.
To get every home waste bin, Mr Agyapong, called on government to make a law for every home to own a bin, adding though the Minister of Sanitation, Cecilia Dapaah, has been doing her bit in that direction, more needs to be done by way of legislation, so that it becomes mandatory.
“What we need is for policy makers to make this, a law that every household should get a bin and then we can promote it. The Minister of Sanitation”, he said.
Zoomlion, at present has compost and recycler plants, reconstructed lavender hill sewage treatment plant, solid and liquid waste transfer stations at Achimota and Teshie and many other initiatives dotted in Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Takoradi among others.
By December 2020, Zoomlion in partnership with a French company, IMO, will be commissioning a treatment plant for Tema. All the pipes we layed over sixty years ago, are being changed.
There is also an oil waste plant in Takoradi, so is Kumasi with lecture halls for the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to be commissioned in December this year.
On landfill sites, Mr Agyapong, said Accra at the moment has none, adding all the old ones are being walled as permits have been given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop them into compost plants, where 60-80 percent of the waste, will be developed into organic and plastic for other uses.
The only landfill site left at Kpone near Tema which was set ablaze by unknown persons in August this year, is to be decommissioned soon for other purposes.
“All these are private investments what we need from government as internationally accepted is paying per tonnage or per litres of discharge”.
Zoomlion which has branches in other African countries, has partnered various institutions including Harvard University and in the view of Mr Agyapong, the company has the capacity to meet all the international standards, adding all it needs is support and partnership from government, other stakeholders and the public to develop and discharge it mandate.
At the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP) limited located at James Town in Accra, General Manager, Bettyu Brown Nyadu, said plans are in place to build similar ones in the remaining fifteen regions. At IRECOP which is also solely owned by the JOSPONG group,the Plant has turned waste into other uses including fertilizer, is yet to be tested for various uses.
“We are pleading that by way of advocacy, if you can plead that we have each in all the regions”.
The tour on Saturday, took journalists led by Peace FM’s Kwami Sefa Kayi, to the newly constructed Lavender Hill sewage plant, IRECOP, Achimota Transfer Station, Kpone Landfill sites, Motorbikes and Tricycle Plant at Borteyman.