The Minister for Water Resources and Sanitation, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda has blamed the high level of filth in Ghana on Zoomlion Ghana Limited, for failing to perform to satisfaction as a waste management service provider.
According to him, although the waste management giant is supposed to collect waste in the cities on daily basis, that is not promptly done.
"We generate waste every day, so must we sweep every day. We ought to sweep, collect transport and dispose off every day. I don't think for the past year or so Zoomlion has done so well on that", he said.
Mr. Adda is of view that the excuse of the company for not being paid should not prevent them from delivering.
He said this at a sanitation forum organised by Graphic Communications Group Limited and supported by Zoomlion Ghana and Unibank in Accra on Friday.
The forum which brought together think-tanks in the sanitation sector to elaborate on measures to ensure that cities are kept clean, was on the theme “Managing Sanitation: How to lift the Nation from filth”.
Mr Adda called for collaborative efforts to help address the issue of poor sanitation in Ghana
Responding, the Chief Executive of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr Joseph Siaw Agyepong said the unsanitary conditions in the country predates the establishment of Zoomlion Ghana in 2006.
He said government's inability to pay the company for the past two years was hindering their performance since they (the company) have to purchase equipment to be able to deliver.
"Swift support and payment for work done for waste companies is the way to go. There should be enhanced tax exemptions to enable the company offer improved services," he said.
Mr Agyepong said Zoomlion's involvement in waste management is not to make money but it was a passion to help solve the massive unsanitary problems in Ghana.
He called for a change in behavior on littering, adding that “they [people] think because you are paid for waste, let me litter as you clear the waste. The culture of the Ghanaian is different, it doesn't encourage waste storage; this has to be changed. And Zoomlion has always led the competition to improve attitudes”.
“When you look on the streets now, everywhere is clean, everywhere is neat. Sometimes do the benchmark with other countries that you have visited. I have visited some countries and I think we are doing well…even though we are not there yet, we are doing well,” he added.
He said 5000 trucks and tricycles have been distributed since 2006 whilst ”over 1500 people were involved in the usage of these tricycles, feeding into a general objective of creating value in waste management”.
He added that waste management has to be made a number one priority, by introducing best practices, technology and investment.
“Zoomlion Ghana and partners have the capacity; all that is needed is the enforcement of existing regulation” he said.
In a welcome address, the Acting Managing Director of Graphic Communication Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Ransford Tetteh bemoaned the state of filth in the Accra.
He said the forum was therefore to discuss challenges confronting the sector and find solutions.ponsors of the programme were Zoomlion Ghana Limited and Unibank.