Danger looms at Mallam Market

The refuse dump at the market

The refuse dump at the market

There is a looming health crisis at the Mallam Market in Accra as a rubbish dump located behind the market has turned into a landfill site.

The site, almost four times a football pitch, is just 20 meters from the southern exit of the market prompting fears of outbreak of diseases as water flows from the site into the market.

At the time of filing this report, dozens of waste tricycles continue to trip in to dump solid waste at a fee with some young men also stationed there to discharge them at a fee.

The dump site also hosts a number of scrap dealers who continually burn electronic waste which emits thick smoke around the area.

The market is also engulfed with the stench from the dumpsite.

Coupled with these is a poor sanitary condition within the market itself, as some traders display their foodstuff on fertiliser sacks on the bare ground.

The area turning has gradually become a breeding ground for houseflies which are seen landing on food items on display from a distance.

Some patrons of the market who spoke to the Ghanaian Times wished that the dumpsite was relocated.

“It is very bad for a dumpsite to be located here. It’s a concern that needs to be addressed but it appears the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is not interested in ensuring that the dumpsite is relocated. All they care about is the money they collect from these motor boys”, a middle aged woman who wants to remain anonymous said.

Another woman, Akua Danso, a trader at the market said anytime it rained heavily, waste materials are washed into the market; a situation she said is not good for the health of the people who patronise their food stuff.

But the assistant manager of the market, Gabriel Tetteh, said the site posed no health threat because the AMA has taken steps to ensure that food items were not contaminated.

According to him, the entire area the rubbish dump covers used to be a waterlogged area and the assembly decided to turn the area into a landfill site to reclaim the land. He is, however, unsure if the site will be closed as the land appears to have been reclaimed.

“The fact is that there is no landfill site within the areas that these tricycles bring the waste. They are from our homes in and around Odorkor, Mallam, Sakaman, Dansoman, Kwashieman and the rest. If we shut down this landfill site where do we expect them to dump their waste?” he asked.

According to him, the AMA and waste management company, Zoomlion, undertakes monthly fumigation to disinfect the area to prevent an epidemic.

“We also grade the area periodically to push the rubbish away and you can see the bulldozer there,” Mr Tetteh said, pointing to a yellow caterpillar parked on the heap of rubbish.

He said the assembly charges the tricycles between GH¢5 and GH¢10 before they are allowed to discharge their waste at the site.

Some of the tricycle operators said they charge between GH¢2 and GH¢10 depending on the size of what they collect from their clients.


BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

 

 

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