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14.12.2005 Regional News

AMA: It's illegal to collect money at refuse dumping sites

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Accra, Dec. 14, GNA - The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Wednesday said it was illegal for some refuse contractors to assign individuals to extort money from the public at refuse dumping points before allowing them to dump their refuse. "The contractors are duty bound to collect refuse since the Assembly has of late endeavoured to live up to the expectation of refuse contractors in terms of payment," Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, Chief Executive Officer, AMA said on Wednesday. "There is no reason, therefore, to allow the act of extortion of our poor folks to continue," he told the Fourth Session of the Third Assembly Meeting in Accra.

Mr Blankson said the Assembly had received reports indicating that some people had been placed at some refuse collection points to collect money illegally from people dumping refuse and this should be reversed. He indicated that in the Assembly's bid to improve effectiveness in refuse collection and disposal, it had provided 270 refuse containers to its refuse contractors but the performance of the contractors was below expectation.

Mr Blankson, however, indicated that there was the need for the Assembly to explore other avenues for the efficient and effective management of solid waste. "We need to go beyond the current landfill system." He, therefore, urged the private sector to establish waste recycling plants in the Metropolis to solve the waste problem confronting the Assembly.

The Accra Mayor announced that through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development's invention, the people of Kwabenya have been compensated for releasing their land to be used as a waste disposal site adding; "the necessary documentation is being worked out". On the construction of a hawkers' market at Odawna, Mr Blankson noted that the project was yet to be commenced attributing the late start to "technical difficulties". "I must, however, mention that work on the construction of the fence-wall to ward off intruders has almost been completed." Giving updates on some development projects, the Mayor said the Assembly was looking out for a new place to house the Achimota Septic Treatment Facility since reservations had been raised about the site because of the construction of a new lorry terminal. He said the Assembly was also going to construct 1,500 toilet facilities for some deprived communities such as Bukom.

"This is not a political gimmick; we should all come together to provide what the residents need." On staff recruitment, the Mayor said plans were far advanced to recruit 45 building inspectors, 100 metro guards and 650 refuse labourers. According to the Mayor, the metro guards, who would be recruited, would now be named Metropolitan Police. "The City of Chicago has pledged its readiness to help train and provide initial logistical support for the Metropolitan Police."

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