By Cecil Mensah
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it has said, it had set guidelines for the management and operation of dump sites in the country.
According to the EPA, all unregularized dump sites in the country, will be collapsed in line with the new guidelines.
These came to the fore, when the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Alhaji Mahama Ayariga, together with officials of the Environmental Protection Agency, led by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Daniel Amlalo, paid a working visit to some unregularized dump sites in Abokobi, Oblogo Top, decommissioned Sarbah land fill site at Oblogo, Mallam and Agbogloshie dump sites, in the Greater Accra Region.
During the visits it came to the light that majority of these dump sites, were not properly engineered and lack proper management.
Speaking to the press after the familiarization exercise, Cindy Badoe; Deputy Director of Built and Environment at EPA, said even though the guidelines have been in existence for a while, the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), have not been abide by it.
She said, when the guidelines were formulated by EPA, it called on all the MMDAs to a stakeholder’s meeting and educated them on the guidelines, but till date the Assemblies are not working with it.
She gave the assurance that, the agency was further reviewing the guidelines to compel the Assemblies to abide by it.
It is in view of this that, the agency has taken a decision not to grant any permit for the operation of land fill sites across the country.
She said, it is about time the country look for possibilities of engineering all its land fill sites to generate income.
Well-engineered land fill sites, can generate funds by way of making compost for farming and bio-gas for cooking.
She noted that, this vision of the EPA, fell in line with the vision of the sector Minister.
According to her, the sector Minister, believes that the operation and management of unregularized dump sites, must stop and moved to another level to save the environment.
It is instructive to note that, there are only four engineered land fill sites in the country namely; Tema, Secondi-Takoradi, Tamale, Kumasi and Cape Coast.
She said, it is about time Ghanaians start to segregate their waste to save the environment and to find new technologies in the management of waste.
The Minister on his part said, he embarked on the exercise based on some complaints the Ministry has received from people living in and around the catchment areas of some of these land fill sites.
“People closed these facilities have their houses filled with flies and some foul stench on daily basis”, he said
He said, it was in view of this that the Ministry in collaboration with EPA was reviewing the way and manner land fill sites are managed in the country.
He said, the Ministry embarked on a trip to Israel to understudy their waste management systems and to come and replicate it here.
Even though, these require huge investments, “we still must find smart ways of getting rid of waste in the country”.
He noted that he had sent a memo to Cabinet for the ban of these dumps sites, because it is not only an eye-sow, but poses a danger too.