The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources says it is working to relocate the Kpone landfill site over the health and environmental hazards it poses to the community.
The Ministry has given assurances that the site will be relocated in May 2020.
Government, according to the Ministry, has secured lands in other parts of the country to make the relocation successful.
The commitment comes after the youth of Kpone on Monday, March 9, 2020, held a protest to demand relocation of the site.
A Deputy Sanitation Minister, Michael Gyato, in a Citi News interview said that although his outfit acknowledges the hazard the site poses to residents, the processes involved in relocating it is rather long and residents must be patient to allow the Ministry to complete the process.
“We as a Ministry think that the hazard and nuisance are too much and for that matter, we need to cap it and see how best we can do a zero-landfill site. They should exercise patience for us. We have acquired some lands and we are even going to another place to do an environmental impact assessment. We want to do proper engineering and at the same time see how best we can do the waste separation. Whatever we do to the landfill site will be very minimal now. We are in March so in May we will be relocating [it],” he said.
Youth stage demo
The youth during their protest on Monday threatened to sue the government and the Ministry for taking away their right to a safe environment and to live comfortably in the area.
They said the presence of the landfill site poses severe health challenges to them.
Convenor of the demonstration, Nii Noi Tetteh said in an interview that; “The landfill site that was given to us has become the repository for the reception of garbage from Tema, Ashiaman and all the surrounding areas. This is where they bring their garbage and we are tired of it. The place is full. It caught fire not long ago. The litter from the place has polluted the lagoons.”
“Our way of life has completely been altered. They have been depositing rubbish here for over 50 years. We say enough is enough. They need to shut it down and come and properly decommission the place so that our environment can be healthy for us. Look at the roads here. All kinds of industries are here yet they do not do anything about the roads. We deserve better than this,” he said.
The Kpone landfill site has exceeded its available capacity and is struggling to accommodate solid waste from waste management companies.
There are concerns that this will take a toll on sanitation in Accra and the environment
Statistics show that Accra generates close to 5,000 metric tonnes of waste a day.
The site at Kpone receives 150 to 250 trucks a day.
Alternatives to landfills needed
Meanwhile, the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) says the Ministry must re-focus on treatment facilities in its approach to handling waste.
Executive Director for the Association, Ama Gbadago says though landfills cannot be completely ruled out, the country must find alternative and innovative ways of handling waste.