Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, Sept 12, GNA
- Some Members of Parliament (MPs) have agreed that recycling plants should be built across all
the 16 geographical regions of Ghana, and the Value Added Tax (VAT) be
increased to address the nation’s sanitation problems.
Despite efforts by
the Government to improve Ghana’s poor sanitation rating in the comity of
nations, it is reportedly losing about $290 million annually to poor sanitation
across the country, according to a study done by the Water and Sanitation
Programme of the World Bank.
According to the
study, the amount is equivalent to $12 per person per year in Ghana, which
translated to 1.6 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Also, a 2019 report
released by the Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation, said 75 per cent of the
solid waste generated in the urban centres was now properly managed,” but
Sanitation and Water Resources Minister Cecilia Abena Dapaah makes a lot of
economic sense to invest in sanitation as she said every dollar invested in
sanitation yielded five dollar dividends.”
On Wednesday, some
MPs serving on the Joint Select Committees Local Government and Rural
Development, Works & Housing and Environment, Science and Technology and
Innovation threw their weight on calls on the Government to replicate the
recycling plant of the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant Limited and the
Sewage Systems Ghana Limited in Accra, in all the 16 geographical regions of
Ghana, with the necessary support as means of improving sanitation countrywide.
The suggestion was
made during a tour by the MPs to some sanitation and sewerage facilities in
Accra by the joint select committee-the Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited, the
Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant Limited and the Sewage Systems Ghana
Limited, both in Accra; the Accra Compost and Recyling Plant at Adjen Kotoku,
the Kpone Landfill Site and the Jekora Compost Plant at Borteyman, both near
toured the facilities to ascertain how best the country could address its
sanitation challenges, especially, the kind of support the government could
give to captains of industry in the private sector.
The nation relied
on landfill sites for the dumping of solid waste, but Mr Yaw Addo Frimpong,
Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science and,
Technology and Innovation and MP for Manso Adubia said during the tour that:
“All landfill sites, something happens underground where you dump the waste.
“We don’t want to
have all these things. Maybe in 50 to 60 years’ time, all our lands will be
taken by landfill sites. The population is increasing, 2.5 per cent annually
and we need to come out with ideas that can resolve our sanitation problems and
these are some of the things that all of us must come together to push.
“I am proposing
that if we add some small percentage on the VAT for sanitation, I don’t think
any Ghanaian will kick against that idea. This is something that we will have
national consensus so that everybody will come to agree with us that sanitation
is key and we are able to resolve it, everybody will be happy.”
Mr Frimpong was
hopeful that the suggestion to build more recycling plants, increase in VAT
rates for sanitation and strict enforcement of sanitation rules will work
‘magic’ for the country.
Minority Chief and MP for Banda Constituency Chief Whip Ahmed stressed
government’s intervention, to partner the private sector with financial and
logistic support for the replication of waste recycling plants countrywide.
He said recycling
plants are public goods that needed government’s intervention for their
establishment rather than landfill sites, which had become an environmental
threat in recent times.
Mr Ibrahim stressed
further that the high operational costs of running recycling plants called for
them to be allowed to charge economic rates.
Vanderpuje, Ranking Member of the Local Government Committee and MP for
Odododiodioo Constituency praised the establishment of the recycling plants,
but called for more Government support as their Internally Generated Funds
could not cover the full cost of operations.
Ms Betty Brown,
General Manager of the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant Limited and the
Sewage Systems Ghana Limited, in Accra, said rates charged by government
institutions for the lifting of their waste were heavily subsidised; as they
were charged US$ 8 per tonne rather than US$ approved by the World Bank.
She appealed to
government institutions to pay economic rates to the recycling plant.
At Adjen Kotoku,
the MPs committee learnt that compost plant exports waste plastic bottles to
Turkey for the manufacture of jerseys, and it was announced there were plans to
increase its capacity from 600 tonnes daily to about 2000 by next year
The MPs expressed
worry that smoke was billowing and swarming the mountainous Kpone Landfill Site
near Tema, which exploded last August and called for immediate shut down of the
site to prevent possible environmental catastrophe and cardiovascular problems
for residents in communities near the site.