Kpone youth demand shutdown of landfill site

Members of the Kpone Youth for Development on Monday staged a peaceful demonstration to urge government to shut down the Kpone landfill site which, according to the group, had become a threat to their health and well-being.

They also expressed their displeasure about the deplorable roads in the community.

Wearing red  arm and head bands, the demonstrators held placards, some of which read: “Kpone dumpsite is killing us”, “No more dumping of refuse in Kpone”, “The stench is killing us”, “Kpone deserves asphalt”, “We can’t drive through smoke”, “Sanitation Ministry is a disaster” and “Stop polluting our water bodies”, among others.

The demonstration started from the Kpone landfill site to the New Town Junction, on the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) road and back to the landfill site.

The demonstration, which lasted for about eight hours, was held under heavy police presence to ensure the safety of the protestors and other road users.

Though the situation caused heavy vehicular traffic, it was well-managed by the police to prevent inconvenience to many road users who were rushing to work.

The police took swift action by collecting about 40 vehicle tyres which the demonstrators intended to block the roads with and burn them as well.

One of the leaders for the group, Nii Noi Tetteh, claimed every effort to reach an agreement with the government had failed, alleging that they were assured the site would be shut down last month, “yet vehicles still troop to the place to dump their waste.”

He described the site, which had been in operation for decades as a situation that was compromising their health and polluting the underground water bodies.

“We receive a lot of refuse, but development is a challenge, and this should not continue,” he said, hinting that they might be compelled to sue government, if it failed to heed their call.

Meanwhile, the president for the Kpone Landfill Waste Pickers Association, Johnson Doe, has expressed fear that, if the landfill was closed, they would lose their jobs.

He has, therefore, appealed to the government to grant the association, a waste collection contract that would provide subsidies to them to collect waste from communities in and around Kpone to help improve sanitation in those areas, and prevent leakage of waste, particularly plastics, into the ocean.

FROM DZIFA TETTEH, KPONE

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