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21.10.2004 Regional News

Tamale Assembly spends 80 million cedis on waste management

By GNA

Tamale, Oct 21, GNA - The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) spends about 80 million cedis monthly on the collection, transportation and disposal of waste in the metropolis.

Inadequate equipment, over-aged and unreliable equipment makes it impossible for the Assembly to dispose off an estimated 200 tonnes of solid and liquid waste generated daily.

Mr Abukari Zakaria of the Waste Management Department of the Metropolis, said these at the Regional the 30th anniversary Celebration of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environment Day in Tamale on Wednesday.

The week-long activity is under Theme:" Waste Management: A responsibility for all".

Mr Zakari said only about 47 per cent of waste in the metropolis was disposed off adding that the remaining waste posed a health hazard to the people.

He said the Assembly would initiate practical measures to improve on waste management in the Metropolis, and announced that with support from the World Bank, it had constructed a landfill site for the disposal of both waste.

Mr Zakari said under the HIPC Fund, 12 people in low-income areas had procured containers for use and a number of public latrines had also been rehabilitated and new ones built to improve upon the sanitary situation in the metropolis.

He said the Assembly would also encourage private sector participation in the door-to-door collection and disposal of refuse and strengthen its inspectorate units to enforce byelaws on sanitation and building regulations to ensure that new houses had toilets.

Mr Eddie Telly, Northern Regional Director of the EPA, appealed to the government to decentralize environmental management to the regional and district levels to enable the EPA carry out its activities effectively. He also appealed for the provision of logistics and remuneration for the staff of the Agency and expressed worry that environmental offences brought before the courts were frequently adjourned and delayed. Mr Ernest Debrah, Northern Regional Minister, in a speech read for him, said environmental protection was the responsibility of all Ghanaians and not the government or District Assemblies alone.

He called on opinion leaders and the youth to help prevent the indiscriminate setting of bush fires, saying:" It is easier to protect life and property than supplying disaster victims with relief items."

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