The health of residents living in the Elite Apartments located at Airport West, near Bayport Financial Services here in the capital is in real danger following a foul smell emanating from the lift shaft area.
Investigations conducted by News Ghana has revealed that the sewage system was poorly constructed as owners of the apartment channeled all the pipes containing wastewater into a secluded area in the shaft within the building. The sewage fecal water has overflowed and is open and stagnant in the shaft area where the lift is, causing the Ammonia gas.
The development, according to our findings compelled the owners to acquire a pumping machine to get rid of the wastewater but that has rather worsened the situation. The Ammonia gas together with the diesel smell from the pump the owners are using is carried up the shaft into the vents in their bathrooms, in the corridors and stairways, alongside the lift.
Any visitor to the area is first greeted with a bad odour. Residents, who are facing the full brunt of the situation seem to be helpless as they have had to look for extra funds to be visiting the hospital on several occasions.
One of the residents who preferred to speak on anonymity told News Ghana in an interview that, “Apart from the sewage water inside the building in the shaft area, there is another big gutter just behind the building also with the sewage water. When it rains, rainwater overflows from there. Also, a gutter in the car park overflows, leading to the entire car park being flooded. If you are home you can't go out, if you are out irrespective of the time and how late it is, you can't come home. The scent from the vent is so bad that my family and I have had a terrible cold, coughs among others.
My son, daughter and myself have been detained on and off at the Hobats Clinic at Tesano since last week on Tuesday. Currently (Monday, November 4, 2019), we are all on beds with drips, we have allergies all the time and we have made several complaints to the owner but to no avail.”
A Ghanaian woman is said to have been sick for the past two weeks while an Indian and his family have also fallen victim to the foul smell in and around their residence.
The resident who bought the apartment from Bassam Elhusseini, a Lebanese national tells News Ghana the foreigner has not responded to persistent calls to fix the problem for them and that she wants a refund and compensation for putting their health in danger.
The Lebanese, according to our investigations is the owner of Ultimate Supplies Limited located at Adabraka, Ricoh Ghana and a part of the Japan Motors Company involved in several real estate constructions in the country.
Speaking to Bassam Elhusseini to react to the issue, he did not know why he should respond to the media after he has allegedly refused to respond to persistent calls by his clients.
He said, “Well, you need to speak to the management company, Elite Apartment does not exist anymore, Elite Apartment does not exist anymore. Who sent you? This is not something to always resolve with the journalist and the news.”
He emphasized that there is a management company that was responsible for maintenance and that it was wrong for his clients to call him whenever there is any problem.
“We have a management company, I am not the management company. There is a company that is managing this; if anybody has a problem, he does not call me, he calls the management company because they are responsible for the maintenance.
My signature is there and that is you don’t understand how these things work. These things work when we have a management company they are responsible for the maintenance and anybody who has a problem should call the management company,” Bassam stated.
Meanwhile, our checks have also revealed that the matter has been reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and already a team of personnel was dispatched to inspect the facility on Sunday, November 3, 2019.
An officer from the EPA, who visited the facility and preferred to remain anonymous told News Ghana via a telephone interview that it is the responsibility of the estate owners to fix the problem for the residents to live in comfort.
“I know that it is the wastewater that is causing the stench that is coming, what else could have caused it? And if it is the waste water that is causing it, it is still a responsibility of the estate owners to treat it. That is why we ask whether you have an environmental permit, because if you have an environmental permit, then we should have found what kind of treatment you are putting in place for such a commercial entity because you must get an environmental permit so that all of these issues that has come up will have been resolved before building your house, “the official remarked.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the official assured will not be resting on its oars and will visit the facility again anytime soon to demand proof of the environmental permit that was issued to the estate owners before putting up such a facility.
The EPA official said, “My friends will be coming around to find out if the company has an environmental permit and if you don’t have, then we will have a problem with them as an Agency because it is a commercial entity and you should not build that structure without doing your Environmental Impact Assessment.
The impact assessment would have seen all these impacts; we will project to foresee that these are possible impacts that would come based on your designs and tell you that put these measures in your design so that we will not have people coming back to tell us that the place is over flooding when it rains, water is coming out, etc. All those things you would have resolved it because it is something that is foreseeable that it will happen.”
Source: News Ghana.com.gh