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28.02.2005 Regional News

Environmental office needs sites for refuse disposal

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Ho, Feb. 28, GNA- The Ho Municipal Environmental Health Office says its inability to secure sites for refuse containers in certain areas of the municipality accounts for the haphazard and criminal disposal of refuse in the municipality.

Mr. Edwin Ankpah, Municipal Environmental Health Officer, who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) expressed concern that landlords simply refuse permission for placing the containers on their property. He mentioned the area behind the offices of the Judicial Service and the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) where the problem had resulted in the unsightly littering and dumping. Mr Ankpah said his office was speeding up arrangements to begin a house-to-house collection of refuse as a solution to the problem. He said 88 people had so far registered to be covered and collection would begin as soon as dustbins were provided and procedures and rates finalised with the private company engaged for the job.

Mr Ankpah expressed disappointment at the damage being done to refuse containers from fire contained in garbage being disposed off into them. He said the inability of households to readily replace discarded pan latrines with other acceptable systems partly accounts for the indiscriminate defecation in the municipality. Mr Ankpah said his office was collaborating with Assembly Members to arrest people who either defecate or parcel and dump excreta in unauthorised places in the municipality. He said owners of undeveloped lands would also be compelled to regularly clear such places of bushes so that they do not serve as defecating sites for people.

Among the areas noticeably used as defecating sites are the fringes along the walkways behind the offices of the Judicial Service, the bushes between the fence wall of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the bushy areas in between the cenotaph, the Anglican Church and schools and the Pensioners office and the vast bushy area around the Volta Regional House of Chiefs and the uncompleted structure of Centre for National Culture Mr Ankpah said the management of waste water disposal was also a major environmental problem in the municipal area which was being addressed by the Environmental office. He said 16 people had so far been fined between 400,000 and 900,000 cedis this year for environmental offences, including accumulation of garbage in homes. Mr Ankpah warned that any corporate body which infringed the environmental laws of the land was also liable for prosecution.