BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE
|A line up of part of the 700 waste trucks|
Waste management in Ghana received a major shot Monday, when Zoomlion, a well known name in Ghana’s waste management industry, in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) unveiled 700 new waste trucks and other machinery.
The fleet of trucks estimated to cost millions of Ghana Cedis, will aid the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), as well as private waste management contractors and individuals to carry out their operations.
Adding to this, another set of trucks at the cost of US$11million sourced from the Exim Bank of India is expected to be distributed to 21 MMDAs by the close of December this year.
Stating the rationale for the collaboration, the initiators said it is to enable the MMDAs deliver higher quality waste management services in their respective areas and intended to provide a logistical resource base, which other private waste management operators can fall on to beef up their equipment holdings and enhance their operational capacities.
Furthermore, the move is intended to incorporate unorthodox waste pre-collectors (truck pushers) into mainstream operation, by helping them to acquire affordable and appropriate waste collection equipment on very flexible terms.
Ghana currently generates beyond 11,000 tons of waste per day and the introduction of the 700 new trucks and other equipment is expected to further change the face of the waste management industry significantly.
Unveiling the new trucks, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, commended Zoomlion for the role it played in securing the new trucks for the MMDAs.
He encouraged all truck pushers to get rid of the unorthodox way of collecting waste and get on board with the new scheme to enhance their operations.
To ensure an environment devoid of filth during the Christmas festivities, Mr. Ampofo called for a national clean-up exercise in the month of December for which a date is yet to be fixed.
The Minister said his outfit would soon come out with a programme to recognise best institutions and individuals championing the cause of environmental cleanliness in the country.
“The award is aimed at bringing competition into the system,” noted Mr. Ampofo.
Commenting on the new trucks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Joseph Siaw Agyapong, lauded the efforts of all players in the waste management industry for their role played in the fight against the country’s waste and environmental sanitation problems.
He noted however, that despite the gains achieved, “there is still a shortfall in the collection rate, as a significant portion of waste generated in Accra on daily basis is left uncollected.” Mr. Agyapong therefore called for all hands to be on deck towards ensuring a cleaner environment.
“The time has come for all stakeholders of the sanitation sector, in whatever capacity we find ourselves – policy makers, researchers, operations among many others to face our problems head on and strive to pull the nation out of the doldrums for better life and accelerated development,” he added.
Speaking on behalf of the MMDAs, the Mayor of Accra, Dr. Alfred Okoh Vanderpuiye, expressed his profound gratitude to the MLGRD and Zoomlion Ghana Limited, for their leadership role in addressing the challenges confronting the MMDAs.
“I have always looked forward to the day when the MMDAs will be resourced to enable them carry out their activities effectively. We will rise up to the effective use of the equipment given us to ensure that our environment becomes the best,” Mr. Vanderpuiye said.
He emphasised the need for the MMDAs to register all residences within their jurisdiction to enable them work effectively. “If we fail, the intent of the equipment will not be realised,” he added.