The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) is to review guidelines for the issuance of franchise to the refuse collection companies which have been working in total disregard for the scope of work issued to them under their franchise.
The KMA would determine the probability of increasing the number of contracts, in order to speed up the rate of refuse collection in the electoral areas. The move follows the identification of the management of solid waste as a major challenge, and a major source of financial drain on the Assembly by the new KMA Chief Executive, Osei Assibey Antwi.
He indicated that the management of solid waste is one of the areas where the assembly has incurred huge debts, and as a short-term solution, the Mayor has proffered the effective monitoring and evaluation of the door-to-door system of waste collection, among other solutions, to manage filth that has silted most gutters in the metropolis.
The Mayor, who was speaking to assembly members during their recent meeting in Kumasi, enumerated that solid wastes bins are not emptied regularly, causing a nuisance to the people and resulting in the creation of crude dump-sites dotted around the communities.
As a result, he suggested that measures to be put in place to check and control the practice, by recruiting Community Volunteers as “Clean Ambassadors” to assist the environmental health officers, whose mandate would be strengthened to discharge their duties within their jurisdictions.
He said the indiscriminate dumping of waste at dump sites by riders of the tricycles, popularly known as “Aboboyaa”, would be banned, and that the use of “Aboboyaa” for refuse collection should be regularised and controlled by providing operational guidelines, registration, embossment and training.
The Mayor explained the proposed banning of dumping of waste was the fact that they are making a huge contribution to solid waste management, due to easy maneuverability in the residential areas in particular.
The KMA boss also stressed the need for the Assembly to embark on a mass education of all stakeholders on safe solid waste management along the chain, alongside the institution of an award scheme after ranking various Sub-Metros or communities, in terms of best waste management practices, with each Sub-Metro or community appointing a Waste Management Ambassador.
He also suggested the rehabilitation of the KMA Waste Management mechanical workshop for building of skip containers, as well as provide backup facilities, including skip trucks, roll-on-roll-off machines/trucks, tricycles, and re-orient and rebrand the Environmental Health Unit to respond to the emerging challenges, and appointment of sanitation ambassadors.
Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, referring to the recycling other biodegradable waste, indicated that coconut waste has become one of the major sources of solid waste the KMA has to grapple with, but since this waste serves as a good source of soil amendment material for crop production when charred, it could also serve as raw material in the construction industry.
Following that, the Mayor recommended that the coconut waste be properly and profitably managed, by educating the stakeholders and placing containers at vantage points for collection, and eventually getting them processed by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) into useful products.
The MCE stressed that sanitation is one of the essential services that needs urgent attention within the metropolis, in order to avert the outbreak of an epidemic, and called on the assembly to resolve to fight filth once and for all.
Source: Sebastian R. Freiku || The Chronicle, Kumasi