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14.02.2005 Regional News

AMA fails to fulfill Promises

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Accra, Feb 14 (Joy Online) -- The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has failed to fulfill its promises to provide roads, a clinic and a market place to the people of Oblogo.
Three years ago, the town, located outside Accra, made a deal with the city authorities to use one of its abandoned quarries as a dumpsite.
But the townsfolk are now beset with health hazards such as malaria and the stench and noise from the large, overflowing garbage trucks that climb up the steep road to the dumpsite consistently.
After three years, the 100-meter deep quarry is already almost full to the brim with garbage while black birds circle overhead.
Vida Narh who lives less than 100 meters away from the dump with ten others, including children has this to say.
“ The air has been blowing badly here, sometimes the mosquitoes are biting us and we have been vomiting, you pains on your head and every party of the body, this place is really bad, they are supposed to come and clear this thing from here otherwise people will die here,” she said.
Oblogo's chief, Nii Kwaku Bibini III, is concerned about the increase in malaria.
The chief says every week he personally pays the hospital bills of children who are infected by malaria.
“They know I am the chief so if there is anything like Malaria, then they bring the children. And children are dying from this refuse dump. When you say this, someone may say you want to clear him from his job but there is something serious going on in Oblogo” he said.
He said the situation is even worse because the town doesn't have a clinic.
According to Nii Kwaku Bibini, the town allowed the city to fill a quarry abandoned over seven years ago in exchange for a clinic, a market place and better roads.
The chief says none of these projects has been completed and what's more...he said trucks were originally supposed to dump garbage at the site during the day. Now, they come 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“We reminded them with several letters and since they are refusing to come to us, they will hear from us, this time not with a demonstration aspect but from the people of Oblogo”, he said.
He also expressed concern about the impact of the refuse pit on water sanitation in the area, stressing that liquid from the dump has been draining into the nearby Densu River where people fish and bathe.
He says the AMA promised last year to build a sump pump to collect the liquid but has again failed to deliver on that.
Mr. Ben Laryea is the head of the waste management department of the AMA.
He said the AMA does not have enough money to undertake all those projects but it has built the clinic. He however concedes the clinic is left with a few fittings.
Mr. Laryea allayed the fears of the people of Oblogo that the AMA could abandon them without the promised facilities. He explained that after filling the dump, the AMA will institute measures to contain any negative hazards.
The chief of Oblogo says if the AMA doesn't make good its promise to them he cannot stop his people from taking any action on the matter.
In the mean time the residents of Oblogo will have to continue living with the smell, the mosquitoes, and bouts of malaria.
They'll also wait for their clinic, market place and road to be completed someday.

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