By Laudia Sawer, GNA
Tema, Feb. 28, GNA - The Tema Central Sewerage System, after 18 years of no major rehabilitation work, is now a highly compromised engineering system that could plunge Tema into an unimaginable health and environmental disaster soon.
Breakages along portions of the pipelines and manholes are evident as rodents and other creatures have found a home in them to feed and to breed.
Residents, schools, hotels and other establishments in the Tema Metropolis had to live with the stench and in some cases spillage of faeces on their premises from the dysfunctional lines choked with waste oil and sludge from factories and garages as well as solid waste materials such as rugs and tampons from households.
Pastor Emmanuel Geadda-Asando, Project Co-ordinator for the advocacy to get the sewerage system rehabilitated, said although the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) had on countless occasions given the assurance of rehabilitating the sewer lines, nothing had been done to address the worsening situation.
Pastor Geadda-Asando, who showed the media some of the chocked and faulty lines, said, “The TMA has only, as an act of insensitivity, taken unilateral decision to annually impose an exploitative charges on users in the name of sewerage maintenance fees”.
He indicated that the advocacy project which was funded by BUSAC Fund and supported by DANIDA, USAID and EUROPEAN Union, was therefore appealing to government to step in to rectify the issue to save the image and health of the harbour and industrial city.
Pastor Geadda-Asando, who is also the Vice President of Ghana Progressive Hotels Association (GHAPROHA), said it was obvious that TMA was not in a position to rehabilitate the central sewerage system which served the Tema Metropolis and Tema West Municipality.
“We were assured that in December, work will start. Unfortunately, we are in February going onto March but nothing has been done, ”he said.
Members of GHAPROHA disclosed that the stench from the sewer lines and poor sanitary conditions had drastically lowered occupancy rate of hotels and restaurants in Tema from an estimated national average of 60 per cent to 40 per cent over the last five years.
“Restaurants and hotels have become helpless as we are unable to maintain the required food safety and hygiene standards in an environment where raw faecal matter flows uncontrollably into kitchens, restaurants and hotel rooms. Guests cannot stand the stench, let alone the unsightly spectacle of raw faeces”.
They added that the hospitality industry spent about GH¢3,277,900 annually to hire services of artisans and environmental officers to undertake diverse activities such as routine rodding of choked pipes, desilting choked drains and sealing of sewer lines and broken manholes.
Mr Stephen M. Ayayee, Executive Director of Joecarl Hotel, on his part, called on the TMA to properly construct the storm drain behind his facility that carried waste water from Communities Six and 10.
According to him, the place was breeding mosquitoes, rodents and snakes and that they spent a lot of money to do frequent fumigation.