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Assakae waste treatment plant nears completion

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu
An office block at the Assakae waste treatment plant that is almost completed
An office block at the Assakae waste treatment plant that is almost completed

The construction of a modern integrated solid and liquid waste treatment plant at Assakae in the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipality in the Western Region by Zoomlion Ghana Limited is progressing steadily, with part of the facility expected to be ready by July this year.

Aspects of the project are about 85 to 90 per cent completed, with the compost plant, its offices and other structures having been roofed and awaiting the arrival of the main plant’s roofing sheets and accessories.

Other works ongoing aside from the super structures are the internal roads and landscaping, which are outstanding works expected to be ready during the first half of the year.

When completed, the over €60-million modern integrated waste management facility will adopt a contemporary approach to the management of solid and liquid waste and make waste a raw material for another production line.

The plant has the capacity to process 400 tons of solid waste and 1,000 cubic meters of liquid waste daily.

A visit to the site revealed that the facility is taking shape at a very fast pace as the contractor is working tirelessly to ensure that the project is delivered on time for use, to keep the cities clean, create jobs and ensure environmental sustainability.

Asked how important the plant was to the municipality and adjoining metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies during the visit, the Regional Manager of Zoomlion, Alhaji Abdule Abdellah, said apart from job creation, the facility would serve as the central point to receive all the waste from the assemblies.

Solid, liquid waste

“What we at Zoomlion are preaching is that waste is not waste but rather a raw material for the next line of production. Therefore, with the plant in place, our education on the waste as a resource will help curb the indiscriminate waste disposal of both solid and liquid waste.

“One important thing we must not forget is that the plant at Assakae will not only manage the waste but also ensure that our production from the waste will provide compost at minimal cost to help boost the country’s agriculture sector” he said.

Sofokrom landfill

Meanwhile, the current situation at the only engineered landfill site at Sofokrom in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis is not the best as it has outlived its purpose.

Waste management companies operating in the metropolis who said they were waiting for the completion of the Zoomlion project described the current Sofokrom site as a “crude landfill site,” which is not good for modern day waste management.

They complained that their trucks got stuck at the Sofokrom site due to the bad nature of the road and in most cases operators had to use bulldozers to either push or pull the trucks.

These developments reduce operational time and efficiency as the truck recovery leads to damage of the trucks and increases operational cost.

The Sofokrom landfill only has a place for dumping, spreading, compact and cover. Liquid waste is left in the open, with a many domestic animals and birds visiting and returning to communities with germs.

The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, Shama District and Ahanta West Municipality, which patronise the Sofokrom landfill that should have been long decommissioned, are currently experiencing population increase which is also increasing daily waste generation.

The plant

At the sod-cutting event for the plant in August 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the project was in line with his quest to ensure that the sanitary situation in the country improved.

The new facility is on a 200-acre land and will have a waste transfer station where assorted waste received will be sorted and after assortment, solid or liquid waste will be sent to various plants for processing.

It has an integrated recycling and compost plant, waste water treatment plant, medical waste treatment plant and residual landfill site.

The new waste treatment plants come with various benefits including job creation, health and safety of the environment, improved health, improved living conditions, reduced air and water pollution, contamination, among others.

Job creation

Residents of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and other adjoining assemblies are happy that finally an integrated waste management facility is being put up, not only for waste management but also for job creation.

A resident, Mr Kwame A. Manu, said they thought it was a normal political promise and that they were happy the plant did not end at the sod-cutting level but the company was carrying out the project as expected.

“I can see that with the emergence of Zoomlion, the construction and the road project, Assakae is opening up and people are building their houses due to the road which is under construction,” he stated excitedly.

When the Daily Graphic visited the community, residential and commercial structures were either at the finishing stage or brisk construction was ongoing. Many attributed the fast pace of development to the ongoing construction of the waste plant.