WB threatens to pull out of landfill project
The World Bank has warned that it will withdraw further assistance to the Kwabenya landfill project if the problem of land acquisition is not resolved by the end of this month.
The bank has already invested 10 million dollars in the project, while the government has also spent three million pounds in the construction of access road and preliminary works.
Work at the Kwabenya landfill site was started in 2001 by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly but was brought to a halt following protests by some residents of the area, citing the public health hazard that the project could pose.
A landfill site is an area or land where waste material is buried under layers of the earth.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive, Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, who made this known in his address to the first ordinary meeting of the assembly in Accra on Tuesday, said that securing sites for solid waste disposal continues to pose problems for the assembly.
Mr. Blankson noted that, although the land owners of Kwabenya had given their consent for the use of the land for the project, "some self-seekers would not allow government officials to enter the land to pick the necessary information on the site for its formal acquisition.
"Should the World Bank withdraw, it means that the three million pounds already sunk into the project by the government would go waste and this will not auger well for a developing country like ours which is facing serious constraints on our national economy," he said.
Mr. Adjiri Blankson however told the assembly about plans to acquire an old quarry pit at Sarbah near Weija to be used as temporary dumping site for about two years while efforts continue to revive the Kwabenya project.
He said that as of now, the assembly owes garbage disposal service providers close to ¢65 billion which has largely accounted for the poor performance of most of them who need funds to meet their operational cost.
He expressed regret at the unwillingness of residents to pay for the waste they generate, saying that it is only 20 per cent of residents who pay for refuse disposal services while the remaining 80 per cent refuse to pay.
'The question we need to ask in the light of the financial problems facing the government and AMA is, how long can people continue to generate refuse without paying anything towards the cost of collection and management of the refuse?", he asked.