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23.09.2005 Regional News

Phyto-Riker praised for Environmental standards

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Accra, Sept 23, GNA - Ms Christine Churcher, Minister of Environment and Science, on Thursday praised the Phyto-Riker Pharmaceuticals limited, an export free zone company for maintaining high environmental standards.

"I am really impressed by your environmental standards, which is higher than the allowable standards given by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and I hope you maintain it," she told the Directors of the company.

The Minister was speaking during a familiarisation tour of the facility at the former GIHOC Pharmaceuticals Company at Achimota, in Accra.

The Company, which is a wholly Ghanaian owned exports 70 per cent of its products to French speaking West African countries ensures that even air particles of drugs were trapped and treated before being released into the atmosphere.

The facility also treats all waste including human, through a treatment plant, before discharging them.

In the nation's quest to maintain good sanitation, which is linked to good health, "we need to work with companies like yours so that others emulate your good practises," Ms Churcher said. "The environment does not need to become a foe, but rather a friend by the way we mimic the earths natural way of discharge and recycling," she said.

In the Minister's entourage was Dr Gheysika Adombire Agambila, Deputy Minister, Mr Jonathan Allotey, Chief Executive Officer of the EPA and some experts from the EPA.

Ms Churcher said with the right kind of education and sensitisation, the private sector could be in the forefront or a partner in the government's policies to improve environmental sanitation especially within the nation's capital.

Mr Gilbert Deku, Head of Manufacturing of the company, thanked the Minister for the recognition and promised to work harder to improve upon what they had achieved.

He said the main problem within the domestic market was overhead cost due to the high environmental standards and prices, which appear to be on the high side, making the company less competitive. Mr Deku expressed optimism about two herbal products, Phyto-Preslo, a stress reliever and Phyto-Laria, for the treatment of Malaria that could become a market leader within Ghana.

He also expressed concern about the rate of encroachment on the company's land, which was purchased through the Divestiture Implementation Committee in 1998 and said the Ministry's advice on the subject would be welcomed.

The Minister and her entourage had earlier visited the Guinness Ghana Breweries Group and Fan Milk Ghana Limited where they were also taken through their environmental practices.