..Ministers Beg Zoomlion & Others For Help
By Gifty Arthur
The promise by President Akufo-Addo to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa, will not be fulfilled if private sanitation companies do not join forces with government.
According to government, the job to keep the national capital and other regional capitals and towns clean, is overwhelming and cannot battle it alone; some ministers have sought to say.
The ministers, Hajia Alima Mahama and Cecilia Dapaah of Local Government and Rural Development, Sanitation and Water Resources respectively, placed the call separately at a programme to handover some 500 state-of-the-art trucks for the newly created Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs) and also augment the existing fleet in the Greater Accra Region, last Friday.
The trucks were presented to the MMDAs by waste management giant, Zoomlion Ghana as part of it 2015 contract with the various Assemblies to provide sanitation management services.
Speaking in turns, Hajia Mahama said, sanitation has become a big albatross on the neck of government, but the administration is keen on resolving it noting, it has identified some key areas such as building of capacity of Assemblies and allocation of funds to promote it realization.
Pointing out the role of private companies in the sanitation fight, the Minister applauded Zoomlion Ghana for it works over the years and asked that similar companies, partner government to get the cities and towns clean permanently.
“Sanitation is an area that we are serious about and we should pay serious attention to. It is important that we have partnership in this arrangement and therefore, I will commend Zoomlion for partnering with MMDAs to find solution to the sanitation problem.
Let me add that, not only Zoomlion, yes Zoomlion is a key player in the field, but other private sector people should take up the challenge and support the work of sanitation in the country.
Zoomlion, has started and definitely providing the lead role in that area but it is opened for the private sector, for other private sector companies to participate. If you look at the whole country 10 regions, 254 district assemblies, there’s a lot of work in the area of sanitation”.
She said though the task to clean the city is the mandate of the Assemblies, everyone needs to play a role by ensuring that they do not litter and throw rubbish at designated places. She also asked homes without toilet facilities to embrace government programmes to construct the facility for each home by making lands available.
On her part, the Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, said there was a great opportunity in recycling of waste which can solve the country’s youth unemployment situation.
She said, players in the sector need to strategize to bring innovation to change the waste that is generated daily to energy, manure, recycling among others.
“The value chain of waste in a 360 degree cycle is full of business opportunity which I dare say can accommodate almost all the unemployed youth in this country only if, we can see waste as wealth and accord it the regard attention”.
“The players in the industry need to up their strategy if Ghana is to be the cleanest city in Africa by the year 2020 which is an alloy vision of the president. We need innovation in the industry to convert to waste energy, waste to manure, recycling of waste, plastic waste and bottles”, she said.
She noted the effort of Zoomlion as a player but said the work is enormous and so called on other private companies to come on board to achieve the President’s dream.
According to her, it was pleasing to learn that Zoomlion is a leading player but said it was “Sad to say our gap between our waste generation, collection, and recycling call, for more equipment human, resource and technology.
For example, if Accra alone generates 2, 000 tons of waste per day, and Zoomlion can separate and recycle only 300 tons, what happens to the 1,700 tons left? Ghana population is estimate at 27 million. It is estimated that each person and for that matter each citizen generates point 5kilograms of waste per day.
This means that 13,500 tons of waste is generated across the country daily. 60 percent of this waste is collected the question is what happens to the remaining 40 percent and guess what happens if we cumulate for one year.
The statistics she said “paints a gloomy picture” adding the task is “Herculean, there is enough space for most people in the private sector to play a role. The ministry therefore invites more people, to venture into sanitation we need more companies the stature of Zoomlion to assist in charging the poor sanitation narrative of the country “.
The former Minister Aviation Minister said the ministry will soon roll out new policies and programmes which will include Metropolitan Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) league table on quarterly bases indicating the cleanest assemblies which will also help as a policy guide for evaluation.
The Executive Secretary of the Jospong Group of Companies, Joseph Siaw Agyapong said, over the years successive governments have put in place measures to deal with the sanitation in the country.
He said the current President’s decision to create a new ministry for sanitation was a novelty Zoomlion appreciates and shares in adding it can lead in solving Ghana’s sanitation problem.
He listed the many interventions and activities it has taken to improve the sanitation situation in the country since the establishment of the company over a decade ago. He said “What Zoomlion has been doing since its formation in 2006 falls in line with the President’s vision.
Over the years, we have proven our capacity to handle waste in this country with the level of expertise of any international company. We have developed a robust research and development system with a remarkable capacity to customize and innovate based on our indigenous knowledge”.
The fleet is made of 500 new skip trucks with the requisite number of containers for efficient and effective operations. Mr Agyapong said, with government continuous support, his company; the Zoomlion can deal effectively with the waste management situation in the country.
“We see our contribution of an essential aspect of our role as private sector players. We shall continue to support the policies, plans, programmes and projects on waste management and work hand in hand with the Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development, Health, Environment Science and Technology and Innovation and Sanitation as well as the universities and other government agencies”.