The Headmistress of Osudoku Senior High Technical School in the Greater Accra Region, Sylvia Baaba Yankey, has confirmed to Citi News that the school has been shutdown temporarily because they can no longer endure harmful smoke emitted by a toiletries and plastics manufacturing Chinese company close to the school.
According to her, the pollution from the company has worsened such that they had no option than to send the students home for health and safety reasons.
“The student agitated that because of the smoke they could not stay. The boy’s dormitory and the classroom block are close to the factory. Since Tuesday the stench and the smoke which for some time now has subsided erupted again. Ghana Education Service is very much aware of the situation,” she said.
She said all efforts made by the management of the school and the district education office to get the situation addressed have proven futile.
“Some time ago, we were all invited to a meeting, the management of the school, the District Education Office and the management of the company, and then when we expressed our concerns, we were asked to put certain measures in place which to some extent we did, but we do not know what happened, and this week since Tuesday the smoke and the stench are being coming again,”she said.
The pollution by the Chinese company at Asutsuare in the Greater Accra Region, is reportedly affecting the health of some two thousand students of the school.
Speaking to Citi News about the situation, the Headmistress of the school, Sylvia Baaba Yankey, said academic work is being affected by the pollution.
“We experience the fumes on the compound every now and then, some of them who took ill were taken to the hospital. According to some of them, the doctor advised them to stop smoking, meanwhile they don’t smoke” she said.
Pollution by Kuntunse tomato factory
Residents at Korleman City, an estate at Kuntunse in the Ga West Municipality, last year raised similar concerns about how the activities of a Chinese Tomato paste factory was affecting them.
The residents first raised concerns over the possible long-term health hazards, following the improper disposal of waste by operators of the factory.
According to them, thick smoke filled the air during the company’s operation during the day and at night, with excessive noise.
Independent investigations by the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA revealed that the tomato factory was operating illegally and the agency proceeded to fine the company GHc15,000.
The company was also ordered to halt any form of production.
The factory, which belongs to some Chinese expatriates, stopped operating for a while but resumed full production again.
After a back and forth between residents and the Ga West Municipal Assembly, the Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, ordered the company to close down.