Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has called on Ghanaians to participate actively in the monthly clean-up exercises to rid the country of filth and safeguard their lives.
He said while government had made the needed investments to improve waste management and sanitation, it behoved the citizens to show support in programmes aimed at creating a sound and conducive environment needed for growth.
The Vice-President said this when he inaugurated an ultra-modern and specialised waste disposal transit service station at Teshie in Accra on Friday. The facility is also meant to house a medical waste treatment plant.
Known as ZoomPAK, which is a joint venture between JOSPONG Group of Companies (Zoomlion) and a Turkish partner, the waste transfer station, will handle solid waste from different assemblies in Accra and offload them into self-compacting trailers to be hauled to landfill sites.
It is envisaged that by combining the loads of several trucks unto a larger self-compacting trailer, the service providers can save money on labour and operating cost of transporting the waste to a distant disposal site.
Mr. Amissah-Arthur said while improperly handled waste was a menace to the environment, it was also a beneficial resource if the right investment was made and the appropriate technology deployed for its management.
He said as human activity and businesses continued to generate waste, it was about time more companies began to consider investing in waste management.
“I am confident that this public private partnership can help address our sanitation and environmental concerns,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the facility would help bring efficiency to the waste collection effort and contribute significantly to reduce the waste that was engulfing the city.
“Let me congratulate all those involved in making this transfer station a reality because it has taken not just time and resources to make it happen, but also visionary leadership and thinking outside the box,” he said.
Dr. Joseph Agyepong, Chief Executive Officer of Jospong Group, said over the years, the flagship company, Zoomlion, had made significant investment in the waste management sector saying, “It is not just because of the business opportunities but also as an enterprise to contribute to good public health”.
He said the company had invested in infrastructure that had the value chain services of an effective waste management saying, “we are grateful for support and roles played by government”.
Dr. Agyepong said the company currently has 1,200 refuse trucks, skips and compactors on the road nationwide collecting refuse, while the process to manufacture 2,000 tricycles was on-going.
“We have a waste bin manufacturing plant that produces 36,000 waste bins a month and our vision is to distribute two million by 2016 for every household to own a bin,” he said.
Dr. Agyepong tasked the MMDAs to enforce the laws on sanitation, while ensuring that all residential facilities own bins for a co-ordinated approach to waste collection.
By Lawrence Markwei