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01.06.2005 General News

AMA gives sachet water producers grace period

GNA

Accra, June 1, GNA - The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has suspended its temporary ban on the use of sachet water and allied products until July 31, this year.

Mr Noel Arcton-Tettey, Public Relations Officer, AMA, who confirmed this on Wednesday to the GNA said AMA had given a grace period of two months to producers and importers and distributors of sachet water in the metropolis.

He explained that the suspension of the ban followed an improvement in the relationship between the producers, distributors and the Assembly over the matter.

"The Assembly initially had a problem with the number of producers and distributors operating in the metropolis but the with the registration of producers, there has been significant improvement in the number of distributors and producers of sachet water," Mr Arcton-Tettey said.

"The public should take note that there has been a gradual increase in the registration of producers and distributors. It is thus expected that this grace period will facilitate a total registration of all producers in the metropolis."

Mr Arcton-Tettey said the AMA was still dialoguing on the proposal submitted on behalf of producers and distributors.

On April 26, this year, AMA resolved to temporarily ban the manufacture and sale of sachet water and all forms of plastic bags in the city with effect from June 1 this year.

Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, AMA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who announced this said the Assembly unanimously took the decision during its sitting.

"It would be an offence to possess those items or to be seen in a factory, warehouse or in a shop," he said, adding, "it shall be punishable by prison sentence or a fine as stipulated by law." The Assembly therefore proposed to the National Association of Sachet Water Producers (NASWAP) to pay 400 million cedis a month to assist the Assembly in its waste disposal.

NASWAP declared its inability to pay the amount proposed by the Assembly because it had only a few registering firms. NAWAP submitted a proposal suggesting that the raw materials used in the manufacture of plastic should be levied from entry points. This, NASWAP noted, would get all producers and distributors into the net so that the amount realized would go to the Assembly's waste disposal fund.

As a first step, the AMA began registering all producers, importers and manufacturers of sachet two weeks ago. As at May 31, 286 sachet water companies had registered and the exercise has been extended for another two weeks.

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