…Mahama’s Turkey Trip Yields Result
By Gifty Arthur
A trip by the president, John Dramani Mahama to Turkey last year to woo investors, has resulted in the building of a US$7.3 million waste and medical transfer station to facilitate the work of waste management organizations across the country.
Waste transfer stations are places where municipal solid waste is offloaded from collection vehicles unto self-compacting trailers and hauled to landfills or other treatment or disposal facilities. The hospital waste, is also to be collected from medical facilities to be treated before they are transferred to the disposal sites.
Zoomlion Ghana Limited, partnered a Turkish company, Jampak Group of Companies, and the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Assembly to construct the ultra modern state-of-the-art waste transfer station located at Teshie in Accra.
The facility, named Zoompak, is the first of its kind on such a large scale in West Africa.
It is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, and communities whose waste will be transported to the facility before final disposal sites are Teshie, Nungua, Sakumono, La, Osu, Spintex, 37 Area among other communities.
Three more waste transfer stations are to be constructed at Mallam, Abokobi and Achimota to take care of waste from their respective communities and those around them. The Achimota station, which is currently under construction, is expected to be completed, this year.
With the provision of these stations in the district, municipal and metropolitan areas, and loads from several individual waste collections unto a large self-compacting trailer, service providers, can save money on the labour and operating costs of transporting the waste to a distant disposing site.
Another benefit of the station is that, it reduces the total number of vehicular trips traveling to and from the disposing site.
The Vice-President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, in a remark, was full of praise for the two companies, especially Zoomlion Ghana for heeding to the call by President Mahama saying, “this is an example of what Ghanaian entrepreneurship and collaboration can achieve”.
He intimidated that, ensuring proper sanitary conditions and appropriate waste management, is a collective responsibility adding, “while government makes the needed investments to improve waste management and sanitation, citizens also have a role to safeguard their own lives by placing their waste not in gutters, but in bins so that the waste companies will cart them off to designated and properly managed waste disposal sites, such as this one”.
Mr. Amissah-Arthur, who was taken round the facility after commissioning, commended the many Ghanaians who have embraced the National Sanitation Day programme marked every first Saturday of the month, and encouraged those who feel indifferent about the laudable initiative, to have a change of mind “to be alive to this national call and to be self-interested by helping to keep your own communities clean”.
A deputy minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpujie, expressed surprise at the pace of work at the station and commended management.
He urged the companies involved to ensure that they take the comfort and health of residents around the facility into consideration by keeping the facility and the community clean and habitable.
The Director of the Jospong Group of companies, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyapong said, “this transfer station is borne out of the visionary leadership of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama, supported in many significant ways by Vice-President K.B Amissah-Arthur”.
He said, “last year, President Mahama went to Turkey on a state visit of which I was part. While there, the president was taken on a tour of places, including sanitation and waste treatment sites. This was to enable president Mahama familiarize himself with modern technologies in waste management as well as be abreast of how that country manages its waste”.
“Our president was so much impressed that upon his return to Accra, he sent a fellow up team, the mayor of Accra, myself and other officers from Local Government to Turkey and with a directive to see a similar modern state-of-the-art waste treatment facility in Ghana”.
Dr. Agyapong, described the facility a high standard facility with an ISO certified standard and has technology for handling medical waste.
“Medical waste requires special expertise and technical know-how and I am proud to say that we have that here today. Currently, there is no sorting of medical waste from solid waste, therefore, I urge our health facilities to take advantage of this”. We have a waste bin manufacturing plant that can produce 36000 waste bins a month and our vision is to distribute 2million by the end of next year for every household to own a bin.