Shinefeel Company Ghana Limited has handed over a six-unit classroom block to the Shai-Osudoku Secondary/Technical School at its old site following incessant protests by the students over air and noise pollution from the factory close to the new site of the school.
According to the Corporate Affairs Manager of the company, John Dziwornu as much as the company was complying with its environmental and safety regulations, the gesture was to help improve infrastructure at the old site to enable the students relocate and have uninterrupted teaching and learning.
Giving background of the location of the factory, he recounted that as part of the non performance of most state owned enterprises, the erstwhile sugar factory, GHASEL at Asutuare was put on the divestiture list and after several years of advertising for investors, the government decided to reconstruct and convert the sugar cane plantation to rice cultivation.
“After an auction programme to sell obsolete equipment, plants and machinery, the place was exposed to vandalism,” he said.
Shinefeel Company Limited then applied to the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority to use a section of the defunct factory for plastic and paper recycling facility with approval from all regulatory authorities including the district assembly.
Mr Dziwornu stated that considering the economic history of the place as previously having a defunct factory presupposed that the location of the company was already zoned far from the Asutuare township for industrial activities.
Notwithstanding this, the company which had been in existence before the new site of the school was constructed, had peacefully coexisted with the school until some time in 2017 when the students and school authority complained of pollution from the factory.
Complying with directives from the Environmental Protection Agency, three diesel generators close to the school’s fence wall are set to be decommissioned to ensure that noise and smoke from these generators during teaching and learning are halted.
The plastic recycle factory is also set to be decommissioned and relocated to different parts of the yard whereas the chimney at the steam boiler section has also been extended among others all at huge cost.
All waste water from the production system are also recycled before discharging them into main drains to avoid any negative health implications on the people of the area.
In finding a level ground to get the issues resolved by helping improve infrastructure at the old site by the company, Mr Dziwornu appealed for the school to be provided with the needed classrooms at its original site to enable the company have some free hand in their operations.
However, the headmaster of the school, Jerome Courage Kwadzodey said the school would need additional 12-unit classroom blocks to contain all the students at the old site.
From Ken Afedzi, Asutuare.