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11.04.2005 Regional News

SAEMA overwhelmed with refuse collection

By GNA

Takoradi, April 11,- GNA-Mr. Seth Ecrement said the Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly (SAEMA) generates 20 million cedis a month and spent 300 million cedis between January and March this year for refuse collection.

He said by this figure, the assembly was subsiding refusing collection with 280 million cedis and was draining the resources of the assembly. Mr. Ecrement disclosed this at a day's forum organised by the assembly for people within Takoradi, which was aimed at explaining some of the policies of the assembly to its stakeholders.

He said though the assembly budgeted 400 million cedis for waste collection, it had already spent over 90 per cent of the target and would need the assistance and cooperation of the stakeholders to enable it to collect refuse from the Metropolis.

Mr. George Frimpong, Metropolitan Environmental Health officer said the assembly would soon establish sanitation clinics where offenders would be grouped and educated.

He said such a clinic would enable offenders to learn more about the environment and assist them to change their negative attitudes towards the environment and sanitation issues.

Mr. Frimpong said the periodic prosecution of environmental and sanitation offenders, was not yielding the expected results. He said the Takoradi slaughterhouse, which was in a deplorable state, would soon be rehabilitated to make the processing of meat and meat products wholesome and disease free.

Mr. Frimpong said the assembly would continue the inspection of premises, chop and drinking bars within the metropolis.

Mr. Philip K. Nkrumah said the assembly was handicapped due the low financial returns it was receiving from its stakeholders.

He said though there are several activities that must be done to improve the living conditions within the metropolis, the lack of funds were becoming a greater challenge to the assembly.

Mr. Nkrumah therefore appealed to residents to patronise and pay for their refuse collection, basic and property rates to enable the assembly to raise enough revenue.

He charged the unit committees to assist the assembly by collecting all basic rates within their area and to keep 50 percent for their own development projects.

Participants urged the assembly to increase its refuse collection programme to reduce the indiscriminate refuse disposal in the metropolis.

They said an outbreak of disease could become eminent if the assembly failed to make refuse collection a regular activity.

They again charged the assembly to ensure that unauthorised lorry stations springing up in parts of the metropolis are stopped.

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