Zoomlion: the unsung hero of Ghana 2008
A critical assessment of the just ended Ghana 2008 Africa Cup of Nations gives a clear indication of the huge success the event had been.
Many fair-minded people, both Ghanaians and foreigners, rate the tournament as one of the best in terms of the quality of football; media attendance; television coverage; merchandising and of course, the cleanliness and tidiness of spectator stands at all the venues.
Though there were some difficulties associated with organization, one would conclude that the successes far outweighed the failures.
One of the companies, which contributed to the success of the event was Zoomlion Ghana Limited - a waste management company with a major focus of delivering quality waste management solutions with technical innovations that are environmentally friendly.
Zoomlion undertook to establish and sustain a clean environment at the four stadiums during the three-week competition, which attracted thousands of people from around the globe and they did that with distinction.
Painstaking enquiries conducted at each of the venues, revealed that the company went beyond the ordinary as its staff performed their duties to the satisfaction of all.
Apart from taking care of the national situations as well, the staff of the company were mindful of the timeframe required to get rid of litters and made sure that the seats, the streets and the entire precincts of the venues were kept in hygienic conditions throughout the tournament.
Because of their high level of commitment and their dedication to duty, one could see workers dressed in their sea blue uniforms picking litter and tidying up venues hours after a match.
They ensured that the lavatories were tidied up; frequently sprayed and fumigated to make them human friendly and attractive to users.
In and out of the stadium, workers of Zoomlion picked every single waste, ranging from mineral cans; plastic sachets; burst balloons; deflated clappers and cheer sticks, and even cigarette butts and other waste products as soon as they were dropped.
This they continuously did day in day out at all the venues for as long as the competition lasted.
One significant aspect of the success story was the positive effect their activities had in the Ministries area in Accra, which is not far from the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium. A critical observer would notice that the area became clean, devoid of any filth as even leaves were recurrently picked along the avenues to give the environment an added value.
By their work, the environment at all the centres became clean, hence attracting compliments from some of the visitors. Thus the terrain was prepared to safeguard public health. There was also no trace of the emission of smoke as the company followed safety regulations in the disposing of the waste.
In all, the company employed the services of 1,000 personnel to execute the task.
According to GNA Sports investigations, the Baba Yara and the Ohene Djan Sports Stadiums in Kumasi and Accra, respectively, were handled by a work force of 300 each, whilst the Sekondi and Tamale stadiums were handled by a total of 400 workers - with 200 hands stationed at each stadium.
Mrs Issabella Gyau Orhin, Head of Public Relations of the company, sums up the performance of the company thus: "We delivered to satisfaction and we ensured that every corner of the stadiums was well catered for."
She, however, reckoned that they were confronted with difficulties such as the negative attitude of people who patronized the stadiums.
"Some people just refused to use the numerous waste bins placed around the stadiums but rather deliberately littered around.
"Some even went to the extent of defecating around indiscriminately but we were able to clean all these to ensure a clean and safe environment," she stated, adding, we needed to deliver our best on our mandate."
To forestall deliberate spillage and indiscriminate disposal of wastes at unapproved places, the company intends intensifying its public education programme to enlighten the masses, as well as sporting fans, who throng the stadiums for sporting events, about the need to ensure environmental cleanliness.
Mrs Gyau Orhin said the company was poised to take up more assignments, both on the local and international scene, having executed the Ghana 2008 task to perfection.
The general perception of Ghanaians about the role played by the waste management company points to a company with a clear cut vision and mission, ready to keep the nation clean.
While Ghanaians applaud the organization of Ghana 2008 and give it high grades, the unsung hero, who contributed immensely to the success story, was indeed Zoomlion, the company, which ensured that Ghana sparkled to impress not only her guests but the nation as well.