By Gifty Arthur
Declaration by President Akufo-Addo to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa, has been boosted this week, following the unveiling of ten new set of mechanical street sweepers by waste management giant, Zoomlion.
The ten sweepers costing the company $2 million, will be deployed to clean the various ceremonial and major streets across the country as done elsewhere around the world.
The mechanical sweepers according to Zoomlion, are of the latest design and can sweep and wash the street to add beauty to the national and regional capitals. Aside the ten, more of the sweepers are on the way into the country the company told journalists on the sidelines of the programme.
Mechanical street sweepers are vehicles used to keep roads, pavements and other hard surfaces clean and free from debris.
This conventional street sweeper uses jets underneath it to spray water onto the road surface to loosen particles and reduce airborne dust.
Brushes then scrub the dirt off the surface, while a cylindrical broom-like brush sweeps the debris onto a conveyor belt which leads to a storage container, or hopper, inside the vehicle.
At the unveiling ceremony in Accra on Wednesday, Executive Chairman of JOSPONG Group of Companies, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyapong said is a direct response to the President’s call in 2017 on the need to introduce such automated sweepers, to compliment work being discharged by street cleaners who have over the years worked to rid the country of filth.
According to him, the $2 million investment initiative is being borne sorely by the company.
Dr Siaw Agyepong said the introduction of the sweepers, is to support “our bid, as a country, to attain the ambitious objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 6, pertaining to the provision of clean water, sanitation and resiliency to disasters.”
“It is in this direction that we in Ghana have been fortunate to receive a clarion visionary call from His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to purposefully work to ensure that Accra and indeed the entire country is transformed to attain environmental cleanliness,” he added.
It will also help minimize the risk of vehicular “knockdowns” encountered by some of these sweepers who wake up early in the morning to clean the major ceremonial roads.
The initiative which is in partnership with government, he explained was necessary particularly, to attain the objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal six, which talks about clean water, sanitation and resiliency to disasters.
“It is in this direction that we in Ghana have been fortunate to receive a clarion visionary call from the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to purposefully work to ensure that Accra and indeed the entire country is transformed to attain environmental cleanliness.
Dr Siaw Agyapong said his outfit continues to invest heavily into waste management projects adding aside the many initiatives it has introduced over the years, the company it is working to ensure every regional capital gets a modern compost treatment plant.
Already, aside the Lavender Hill and the Adjin Kotoku Compost Treatment Plants, there is a 400 tons capacity plants both at James Town which will soon come into operation. In the Ashanti Regional capital Kumasi, Dr Agyapong said there is 600 tonne/day sorting and compost plant in Kumasi under construction with support from a Turkish company.
He also mentioned a new compost recycling plant at Klerp site near Agbogbloshie in the Greater Accra Region and the One Million Bin Distribution Project to households
In a speech read on her behalf for the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, the Deputy Minister Collins Ntim, said government is poised to collaborate with any private sector waste management company correct the insanitary condition across the country. She further commended Zoomlion for the bold and continues efforts to collaborate with government to discharge it duties as far was waste management is concerned.
“I cannot hide my happiness today as we are about to make another strategic intervention to further boost our efforts towards making our nation clean. “I will hasten to commend Zoomlion Ghana limited our key private sector partner. Indeed, your outfit keeps springing up surprises to augment the ministry’s efforts and that is very commendable. We need more of your kind to completely nib in the bud the waste management menace facing this country,” she said.
Ms Mahama further stated it was her expectation Zoomlion Ghana Limited would effectively collaborate with all the MMDAs concerned to ensure smooth deployment of the equipment in order to maximize the associated benefits.
“This innovative strategic equipment no doubt will contribute significantly towards bringing us closer to the attainment of H.E. the President’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city,” she said.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Mayor, Mohammed Adjei Sowah said the various MMDCEs are working to achieve the President quest to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
To this end, Mr Adjei Sowah said the assemblies have a campaign called “Assemblies without borders” where it is agreed that filth everywhere, is the business of every assemblies and so they have committed themsleves to work together to ensure that everywhere is clean.
On his part, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Hon. Ishmael Ashietey, said Ghanaians have placed a lot of emphasis on liquid waste management issues. He noted the assemblies are “stepping up our efforts” to work harder for the good of the people.
Mr Adjei Sowah said the assemblies are working and ensuring that the various bi-laws are enforced to deter people from breaking them. He further advised households to register for the free bins distribution from Zoomliom because according to him, it will come to a time no excuse would be tolerated.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister Ishmael Ashietey said increasing the existing solid waste infrastructure is the priority focus areas of all the assemblies. It is in this regard that he said the President set up the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.
He was particularly concerned about the Ghanaian attitude of throwing rubbish at anywhere adding this “This kind of behaviour is counterproductive and will not auger well for us as a nation”. He said, even though the assemblies are working to improve on the situation, “We as a citizen need to support them by dumping waste only at the designated place”.
It is the belief of the various MMDAs to look at waste management in a more holistic manner along the entire value chain of Collection, Transporting, Disposal and treatment.”
He urged Ghanaians to see waste as wealth and further assured of the commitment of Government in ensuring a clean and safe living environment.
The Director of Sanitation at the Water and Sanitation Ministry Anthony Mensah said the initiative was a “worthy and response to a guanine and pressing need” which needs to be applauded although he said the imitative was not a new one. He was concerned about how the sweepers could be sustained and maintained.
He suggested that budgetary allocation be made for sustainability, transparent partnership between stakeholders, effective result based supervision and monitoring mechanism, and adherence to strict maintenance culture.