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19.02.2007 General News

Save us from the filth, Teshie residents cry

By DAILYEXPRESS-Shaibu Abubakar
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Residents of the SSNIT GREDA Estates near Teshie, a suburb of Accra and its environs are complaining about the health hazards posed by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) compost site in the area.

Making an appeal through the dailyEXPRESS, the residents called for the intervention of the AMA to save them from the 'hell' they are going through.

But Ali Baba Bature, Special Assistant to the AMA boss says residents of the area close to the site should be left to their fate because they are illegal occupants of the place.

Some residents complained that the over-night burning of refuse at the site is affecting their health, with many of them suffering from chronic catarrh and other cardiovascular problems. This is because of the thick smoke.

Ernest Ansong told this paper that “from 3pm, the smoke is very bad, and at this time it is only two options; to lock up all doors and windows and face extreme heat or, open to be choked by the smoke which fills the entire room.”

Mr. Ansong said his three-month old baby started having running nose when she was about a week old and it was only when he moved his wife and baby to his parent's house that it stopped.

“I even have to dry my clothes outside the vicinity because of the presence of the smoke,” he added.

Meanwhile, the overflowing refuse has spilled unto the road separating the land fill site from the residential area. They resultant effect, dailyEXPRESS gathered, is that plastic waste and other related debris end up in the adjoining houses.

The main drains running along the road have also been filled by spilled waste, causing flooding in the area anytime it rains.

Another concern raised by the residents is the fact that the bushes near the site have become safe haven for criminals and drug peddlers. Most of them terrorise passers-by, robbing them of their mobile phones, money and other valuables.

“Male victims who try to resist are severely assaulted with cutlass while their female counterparts are brutalized,” a resident complained.

Residents are also in danger of contracting malaria due to the presence of mosquitoes, and also complained of insects and rodents coming into their homes from the site.

“Most of us here have even been forced to vacate our rooms. A neighbour for instance, is currently putting up with friends around Nungua.”

An executive of the residents association Mr. Sam Opoku is blaming SSNIT for not doing anything to ensure that the filth is cleared. According to him, the parcel of land was purchased ten years ago from SSNIT who promised to relocate the refuse dump but nothing has since been done.

“Till date nothing has been done about it and the rubbish keeps increasing by the day. As you can see, it is probably the tallest edifice in Accra, if not Ghana at large”, he said.

He said several attempts have been made through the Assemblyman of the Area to get the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Environmental Protection Agency to expedite action on it, but all their efforts have been in vain.