Netherlands Ambassador bids farewell to President

President John Dramani Mahama yesterday charged stakeholders to stick to the plan of shutting down Lavendar Hill, in Accra where untreated human excreta are emptied into the sea.

Describing the situation as a “blot on the nation’s image,” the President said the government remained committed at decommissioning the site in September.

“For the first time, we will cease the dumping of liquid waste into the sea by September,” he said.

According to him, work on the Korle Lagoon faecal treatment plant was due for completion in August, which would pave the way for the shut down of the Lavendar Hill.

President Mahama said this when the outgoing Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Hans Docta, paid a farewell call on him at the Flagstaff House today.

The Netherlands Ambassador, who spearheaded his country’s support project for enhanced sanitation in Ghana, was among three outgoing envoys who called on the President to bid farewell.

The rest were Ms Laura Carpini of Italy and Mr Jeeva Sagar of India.

President Mahama, commending the Netherlands envoy for his work in Ghana, said the government had given priority to waste management.

Ghana, he said planned to continue to partner the Netherlands, which had the expertise in waste management, to promote waste treatment in the country.

President Mahama commended the Netherlands for the role it played in the international response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, while also appreciating the Netherlands’ role in Ghana’s entry into the Extended credit facility of the IMF.

Regarding education, he said Ghana would also partner the Netherlands to advance the School Feeding Programme for the benefit of children.

President Mahama lauded the progress of bilateral relations between the two countries, and commended the outgoing Ambassador for his contribution in that regard.

On recent international developments, President Mahama described Britain’s exit from the European Union “as unfortunate.”

The President however stressed the need for calm so that the European Union could fashion the way forward.

Mr. Doctar, for his part, thanked the government and all stakeholders for the support offered him, and hoped the same assistance would be offered his successor so as to enable him or her to build on the foundation laid.

Receiving the outgoing Italian envoy, President Mahama thanked her for the impressive role she played in advancing Italy-Ghana relations during her four years stay.

He said the seven billion dollar ENI gas project, as well as the Ghana Private Sector Development Facility for the development of small and medium industries, happened during Ms Carpini’s time as envoy.

In her farewell message, Ms. Carpini described Ghana as a true friend of Italy, and gave assurance of the Italian government’s commitment to the relationship with Ghana.

Interacting with the India envoy, President Mahama said India continued to play a meaningful role in Ghana’s development.

He cited the Komenda Sugar Factory which was financed with an Indian facility, as the latest evidence of the dividend from the relations with India.

By Edmund Mingle

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