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15.11.2005 Regional News

KMA to introduce waste collection levy

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Kumasi, Nov 15, GNA - The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) is initiating a comprehensive waste management programme to promote a sustainable waste management services in the Kumasi metropolis. Under the programme, a citywide waste management levy would be introduced in 2006 to enable residents pay fees for waste collected from their areas.

Madam Patricia Appiagyei, the acting Metropolitan Chief Executive, said this at the inauguration of eight-billion-cedi waste equipment at Dompoase Sanitary Landfill Facility in Kumasi on Monday. The equipment, which included landfill compactor and D6 bulldozer, were bought by the KMA in partnership with Messrs J. Stanley Owusu and Company, a private waste management company.

Madam Appiagyei said the assembly was installing public litterbins at an estimated cost of 800 million cedis while some principal streets and drains would also be cleaned by small-scale private contractors at a cost of 160 million cedis per month. In addition, an environmental sanitary police unit would be created to help in the sensitisation and enforcement of environmental sanitation byelaws.

Madam Appiagyei said the assembly spent a about 1.5 billion cedis every month for the collection of solid waste while the same amount was spent in operating the sanitary landfill facility. She said contributions from service beneficiaries accounted for less than 20 per cent of the total cost of the collection service. This, she said, had compelled the assembly to depend heavily on central government support for the financing of waste management services, which usually came in arrears of more than three months. This had often affected quality service delivery and the resultant inadequate service leading to mountains of refuse left uncollected for several months.

Mr Kofi Opoku Adusei, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said the government was supporting environmental sanitation and waste management in order to boost tourism. He said the government spent over seven billion cedis every month to support the country's five major cities in their waste management efforts. The cities are Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale.

Mr Adusei said the government would be spending about one trillion and 370 billion cedis to promote environmental cleanliness in Kumasi under the Urban Environmental Sanitation Project II (UESP II) which is being supported by Agence Francaise Development (AFD).

The project, which is in two components included, the Aboabo drainage scheme which would be undertaken at the cost of 5.9 million Euros and community infrastructure upgrading such as roads, streets lights, solid waste collection and drainage amounting to 6.2 million Euros would be carried out in Asokwa, Ahinsan and Atonsu.

Mr Adusei appealed to the KMA to ensure adequate contractual arrangements to ensure effective and efficient service delivery by the company.