The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah has asked Zoomlion to speed up the process in establishing its Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP) in the Ashanti Region, to help manage the overwhelming waste being generated in the region.
The Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi which is the second largest city in the country generates a total of 1,500 tons of waste at minimum without any recycling plant to sustainably manage the waste generated daily.
The only landfill which receives municipal solid waste in the Kumasi metropolis is the Oti landfill which is currently full to capacity posing health threat to residents as leachate from the waste is heavily polluting water bodies in the region.
The disposal of liquid waste directly into water bodies has also become a norm in the region as cesspit trucks line up to take turns to dislodge faecal matter into these water bodies which experts have described as a public health threat pending explosion.
The Regional Minister made the call during a familiarisation tour by a joint parliamentary select committee on Sanitation, Water Resources, Environment, Science and Technology, Local government, Works and Housing of the region to ascertain its waste and environmental sanitation conditions.
The joint parliamentary select committee inspected the Integrated Recycling and Compost plant and commended Zoomlion Ghana Limited for establishing such a magnificent waste recovery and recycling complex in the region which will undertake the function of treating both solid and liquid waste.
The committee was however surprised that government is yet to sign an off-taker agreement to start using the facility including the one which was commissioned by the Vice President Dr Mahamoud Bawumia’s office in April this year in Accra.
The parliamentary select committee expressed worry about the bureaucratic nature of doing things even in contemporary times to the effect that the IRECOP in Accra has not got government’s off-taker document signed.
The Regional Minister said Zoomlion was currently also constructing a 10.5 kilometer asphalt road to enable easy access to the recycling facility which is about to be commissioned.
The leader of the delegation, Nana Amoako, Member of Parliament for Upper Denkyira East, indicated that considering what has happened to the Kpone landfill site in Accra recently, there was the urgent need to take immediate and pragmatic actions to provide sustainable solutions to waste management challenges in the country.
He said disaster awaits the country considering the recent ignition of flames at the Kpone landfill site and the current devastating condition of the Oti landfill in the Ashanti Region.
The Quality Assurance Manager of the Kumasi Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (KCARP), Dr Glen Kwabena Gyimah in an interview explained that the facility would provide a multi-purpose function of treating both solid and liquid waste.
He said the facility was made up of various recycling systems which would process a total of 2,500 tons of waste per day.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation who is also the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Manso-Adubia in the Ashanti Region, Yaw Addo Frimpong, called on political leaders and all stakeholders to support the Jospong Group of Companies for its immense investments into the waste management, environmental and sanitation industry.
The MP who was part of the committee members who could not hide his excitement during a joint select committee tour of the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP) and Sewerages Systems Ghana Limited which are all subsidiaries of the Jospong Group of Companies in an interview with journalists underscored the need for all stakeholders to rally behind Jospong to help grow other waste management companies to solve Ghana’s sanitation challenge.
Mr Frimpong also proposed a small increment in the Value Added Tax (VAT) to help finance waste management in the country. “I am proposing that if we add some small percentage on the VAT for sanitation, I don’t think any Ghanaian will kick against that idea,” he stated.
The committee also toured the Sofokrom landfill site in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.