The Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) has asked the government to include GH¢400 million in the 2016 budget for the sanitation sector to enable the association to effectively manage the country’s waste.
Making up the amount is GH¢10 million for three transfer stations in Accra, GH¢15 million for five transfer stations in Ho, Kumasi, Takoradi, Cape Coast and Tamale; GH¢30 million for the expansion of the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant and GH¢10 million to complete the Kumasi Compost Plant.
According to the ESPA, the budget allocation being requested for was also for the expansion and management of landfill sites in Takoradi, Kpong, Nsumia and Kumasi, estimated to cost GH¢25 million; the evacuation of waste and interventions in waste management services in all 10 regions, estimated at GH¢30 million, and the creation of a national special sanitation fund with seed money of GH¢50 million.
It has also requested a budget allocation of GH¢100 million for the nationwide free distribution of two million waste bins to help solve the country’s waste management challenges; GH¢50 million to construct five liquid waste treatment plants in Accra, Tema Kumasi and Takoradi; GH¢10 million to renovate the Accra waste disposal site, popularly referred to as ‘Lavender Hill’, and GH¢18 million to improve drainage systems in all regions.
No government support Making the case for a budget allocation for the sanitation sector at a press conference in Accra last Tuesday, the Executive Secretary of the ESPA, Ms Ama Ofori Antwi, said although the management of the country’s waste had been left to private waste management companies, the lack of financial support from the government had made the work of members of the ESPA difficult.
She warned that the country risked a repeat of the June 3 disaster “if we do not take some concrete actions now to prepare our city for next year’s rains because we have not been able to tackle the problem of poor sanitation at its roots”.
Stating that a waste truck now cost between $150,000 and $200,000, while it could be cleared at the port for between GH¢35,000 and GH¢50,000, she said ESPA members did not receive any tax exemptions on waste management equipment imported into the country.
“The operational cost for waste management is at an all-time high – depreciation of the cedi has made waste trucks and spare parts very expensive, long journeys to landfill sites have also increased the amount of fuel contractors buy to collect and haul the refuse to the landfill sites.
“Other exigencies such as the unwillingness of residents to pay for waste management services rendered have all put enormous pressure on the contractors. However, because waste management is considered a social service, it is the district assemblies that determine how much companies can charge residents at the end of the month.
“What the ESPA is asking for is at least a GH¢400-million allocation in the 2016 budget to the sanitation sector to help address the issues of waste management and infrastructure,” Ms Antwi stated.
The ESPA also said it would be helpful to have transfer stations built at Achimota and Teshie in Accra to serve as material recovery sites and reduce the distance covered by haulage trucks to final disposal sites.
It also called for government support to expand the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant to recycle about 3,000 tonnes of waste daily, construct a liquid waste treatment plant at the site, as well as complete the Mudor Faecal Treatment Plant near ‘Lavender Hill’.
The association also urged the government to support service providers managing landfills to provide efficient services, support the observance of the National Sanitation Day (NSD) to make it sustainable and give tax exemptions on waste management equipment imported into the country.