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23.09.2004 Regional News

Residents sue AMA, cleaning company for failure to collect garbage

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Accra, Sept. 23, GNA - Residents of Teshie Nungua Estate have sued Daben Cleansing and Construction Service and Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) at an Accra High Court for breach of contract in the collection of refuse in the area.

The writ filed by Mrs. Margaret Yaa Ntiriwah Achiampong, a legal practitioner and Secretary of the Teshie Nungua Estate Residents Association, is seeking 100 million cedis as general damages for the health hazard, negligent execution of duties and for the inconvenience they have caused the residents.

The plaintiff is seeking an order to AMA to institute a mode of checking on its licensed or delegated bodies such as Daben Cleansing and Construction Service to execute their services satisfactorily.

The plaintiff is also seeking an order to the Director of Daben Cleansing and Construction Service to inform residents in writing to each customer the actual number of times they would collect household refuse and on what specific day or days such collection is to be done. In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs said Daben Cleansing and Construction Service, five years ago introduced itself to the residents that they had been licensed and mandated by AMA to collect household refuse for a fee.

Daben Cleansing and Construction Service initially charged 25,000 cedis to collect refuse on Monday and Fridays.

"Like the many service providers in Ghana, Daben Cleansing Service and its Director initially executed their services as expected of them on the stated days but gradually started missing out days. "In addition to the seeping deterioration of the service, ... Daben Cleansing and Construction resorted to increasing their fees without any notice to the residents.....This situation has gone on until now that they are charging 46,000 cedis per month."

The plaintiffs said despite the increase in fees, the company collects the rubbish once a week and they had no known day for that.

"They have not announced the particular collection day to the residents. As such, their van could be expected any day in the week and hard luck for any resident who may not be around to bring his or her refuse.

According to the plaintiff, majority of residents go to work "decorating their gates every day with their garbage cans, bags etc," with the hope that the collectors may come around but the cleaning company fails to do so.

"Unfortunately, rampaging dogs, especially at night also come around to rummage into the bags and scatter the rubbish in front of the gate and on the street. This situation is very common in the whole estate putting everybody at health hazard."

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