Residents of Kpone in the Greater Accra Region have demanded the closure of the Kpone landfill site due to the health risk it poses to them.
The site has exceeded its available capacity and is struggling to accommodate waste from waste management companies.
According to the residents, the risk of a major outbreak of disease within the community, is imminent due to the unbearable stench and poisonous sludge that flows from the site through the town’s open drains into the sea during the rainy season.
The residents also stated that they can no longer cope with the situation, as they have had to spend huge sums of money on their health as a result of the hazards they contend with from the landfill site.
Narrating their experience to Class91.3FM’s Abraham Aidoo, one of the residents said: “The rubbish is disturbing us, it’s smelling. If I’m passing with my car, people will be covering their noses, so, the government should come and do something about it”.
“It will smell and come to the town. The gutter is passing through the town, and, so, if the government can help us and send it to another place, we’ll be very happy.”
Another resident who said she has been living in the area since 2009, also stated: “If it rains, it smells. It brings a lot of houseflies, mosquitoes, a lot of things.”
Meanwhile, the Environmental Service Providers Association has suggested waste segregation as one of the many ways to tackle the problem.
Ama Ofori Antwi, the Executive Secretary of ESPA, told Class News that: “The point of generation is very important and we all generate waste in our homes and those at the commercial areas, wherever they find themselves, waste is generated. So, if we can adopt a culture where we can do proper storage and then we can have an efficient collection system where the service providers have the opportunity to collect all the waste within the system, [it will be helpful]. When we also collect, we also have the responsibility to ensure that we do not send all the waste to the final site but some form of treatment takes place. We can then promote segregation at the household where we can take the chunk of those ones that are highly a problem for us and then get them recycled.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah has called for a collective effort in ensuring good sanitation.
Mrs Dapaah told Benjamin Akakpo on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show that: “We should be responsible for sanitation. God has given us a good environment, we’re spoiling it. We should be our own masters and mistresses of our life; in our quest for cleanliness, the government is doing all that it has to do, so, we have to play our part and then with the early rains, people will pack the refuse from their homes to dump in the drains and gutters; this is what we should speak against”.
“But the government has a role to play, the Assembly and local government level, they have roles to play; the ministry is representing the government. Like I said, we have a role to play, civil society, the media, our chiefs, our churches, church leaders, Muslim communities, children, institutions, every Tom, Dick and Harry has a role to play.”