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20.03.2009 Regional News

Kpone Gao lagoon polluted with liquid waste


The Kpone Traditional Council has expressed concern about pollution of Gao Lagoon at Kpone with effluent from sewer pipelines constructed over it to discharge liquid waste into the sea.

Waste management companies in and around the Tema metropolis discharge liquid waste into manholes constructed at Paradise Beach at Tema Manhean that pass through the pipelines into the sea.

Due to a blockage in the pipelines, the manholes have spilled their contents into the bush as well as the lagoon thus emanating stench and breeding houseflies in the area.

The Gao Lagoon is the main source of livelihood for the fishermen in the area.

As part of measures to stop further pollution of the lagoon, the Kpone Traditional Council and the Kpone Police on Thursday impounded four cesspools emptier which went to the area to discharge liquid waste.

The registration numbers of the four emptier are GR 4407 V and ER 1961 W belonging to Harmab Sanitation Company. The rest, GE 4809 V and GW 9996 U belong to Sanitation International and Honourable Waste Management Services respectively.

Nuumo Tetteh Leno IV, Chief Priest of Kpone who conducted reporters around the site, said activities of the waste management companies were posing health and environmental dangers to residents.

Nuumo Leno said the pollution of the lagoon could lead to outbreak of diseases since fish caught in it is sold to unsuspecting people.

He said their shrines located on the shores of the lagoon could also be desecrated, he said.

He said several reports to the waste management department of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) which is responsible for the maintenance of the lines have yielded no results over the past eight months.

Mr Francis Kobblah, driver in-charge of one of the impounded cesspools emptier, alleged 8 Ghana cedis per trip was charged by the officials of TMA who man the revenue kiosk situated at the premises.

Mr Abdulai Mahamadu, Head of the TMA Waste Department, later told the Ghana News Agency that the companies were allowed to discharge into the manhole temporarily when the discharging bay at the Ashaleybotwe Septic Treatment Plant developed a fault.

Mr Mahamadu said the assembly frequently de-silts the lines to avoid such blockages and that they have ordered the companies to stop discharging at the place in response to concerns raised by the Kpone Traditional Council.

On the issue of monies paid for discharging, he said the officials were not supposed to collect money before the discharge but rather book the number of trips for the companies to pay monthly to the revenue department of the assembly.

He said the police have been told to arrest recalcitrant drivers hinting that most of them discharge in the night to avoid being apprehended.

He gave the assurance that his outfit would urgently clear the lines to curb the pollution.