By Patrick Biddah
The Parliamentary select committee on Local Government, has expressed outraged at the state of Sanitation in the Ashanti regional capital of Kumasi.
The outrage of the MPs, is in view of the fact that there is no proper facility for the disposal of waste in the city.
The only landfill site which is situated at Dompoase in the Asokwa municipal assembly, has outlived it use with refuse overflowing and threatening an epidemic due to the haphazard dumping of refuse.
The outrage of the MPs, is not only emanating from the poor management of the landfill site, but also the emptying of liquid waste into water bodies in the city.
Their outrage is further depended by the seeming lack of efforts by the government to support local businesses that are daring to invest in the recycling of waste.
Speaking to Journalists at the end of a joint parliamentary select committees tour of the region, made up of Local Government, Works and Housing, as well as the Committee of Environment, the Member Of Parliament for Banda, Ibrahim Ahmed, was disgusted at the poor sanitary conditions under which refuse collectors cart waste to the Landfil site
“What I saw was appalling .Those who cart waste to the disposal site are without any protective gear.These people live with us in the communities .Whatever germs they pick up eventually get to all of us “, he said.
Mr Ibrahim Ahmed, who is also a member of the Local Government Committee, said in order to curtail any cholera and its related infectious diseases, the root cause must first be addressed and that is when recycling of waste, becomes the only option.
It is in view of this that the Committee has advocated for the establishment of recycling plant.
This , the Committee Member indicated, has been started by a private person who has to be supported by the government of the day, in order to end the lip service of its fight against sanitation .
He said, there was no known direct profit to be derived from the investing in sanitation which among others is capital intensive.
“We cannot play politics with sanitation. The government that is collecting taxes is not investing in the fight against sanitation. There is the need for the government to find a way of giving demand risk guarantee to attract more investors and cushion those already investing in the sector”, he noted.
Tuesday’s tour was to afford the various Committees, to get first hand insight into the running and management of the landfill site in Kumasi .
The Committee as part of its oversight responsibility, was to assess the situation and make recommendations to Parliament.
The tour which started by a courtesy call on the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, took them to the Kumasi Compost and Recycling Plant being built by the Jospong Group.
Its facilities include the separation of liquid and solid waste with the target of producing organic fertilizer for use.
Over there, the Research and Quality Assurance Manager, Dr Glen Kwabena Gyimah said the plant employs close to 500 people.
In a move to collect waste from the landfill site to feed the multi dollar recycling plant, a 5.3 kilometer road is being constructed by the Jospong Group to link the landfill.