ESPA appeals to govt to pay GH42 m debt to landfill operators

The Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), yesterday appealed to government to clear the outstanding GH42 million debt owed landfill operators to ensure quality delivery of services.

They held that the non-payment of these debts which had accumulated since 2016 had culminated in the collapse of about 15 service providers, with many others on the verge of collapsing.

Speaking at a maiden media engagement jointly  organised by ESPA and  Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), in Accra, Mrs Ama Gbadago maintained that, although a number of policies and interventions had been initiated by government to address the sanitation menace, a lot more needed to be done.

She mention low tariffs as the reason for the inability of the private sector to effectively collect and treat waste.

Not only that, the lack of government support to private waste collection companies in the area of taxes and tax exemptions was another challenge confronting the companies, Mrs Gbadago stated and suggested the introduction of Public Private Partnership (PPP) policies between the government and private sector to improve sanitation.

Mrs Gbadago told journalists that the media engagement which would be held every month was seeking to educate and create awareness on sanitation and waste management issues.

The Executive Secretary of ESPA said the private sector played a significant role in the provision of sanitation and waste infrastructure, adding that the introduction of the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant (ACARP), the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant(IRECOP), Kumasi Compost and Recycling Plant(KCARP), Universal Plastic Products and Recycling Limited (UPPR) and the Fortifier Plant were some interventions that supported management of solid and liquid waste.

Mrs Gbadago appealed to the government to support existing private waste treatment facilities with financial incentives such as off-taker agreements for them to operate effectively.

She appealed to government to revisit the fee fixing arrangement to ensure realistic pricing for waste managers to be able to operate without any hindrances.

Mrs Gbadago also asked the government to establish the National Sanitation Authority to support in streamlining policies in the water and sanitation sector.

Mr Yaw Attah Arhin, vice chairman of CONIWAS said government’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa by 2020 could not be attained because of the myriad of sanitation challenges.

He said when the President made that pronouncement upon taking office in 2017, the President ought to have tasked his appointees to embark on massive infrastructural development, law enforcement and sustained education.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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