The sanitation condition at the Tema lorry Station Bus Terminal in Accra has seen some improvement, Mr Samuel Nii Adjei Tawiah, Municipal Chief Executive of Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly said on Wednesday.
The MCE said that the improvement was due to the many interventions put in place to address sanitation conditions in the municipality, particularly, the Tema Station bus terminal.
The Tema station bus terminal is one of the oldest lorry stations in Accra, which serves drivers and passengers from far and near. Over time, the lorry station now has a market where food items, cloths, shoes and other items are being traded.
Sanitation condition at the lorry station was poorly managed. In the absence of a refuse bin, heaps of rubbish were gathered uncollected while traders and drivers engaged in brisk business without clearing the filth away.
Previously, traders and drivers blamed the authorities for poor management of sanitation, although they paid for refuse collection.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Samuel Nii Adjei Tawiah said the Assembly since it assumed office, noticed a gap in the sanitation situation within the municipality including the Tema station bus terminal.
He made it known that the assembly has currently taken over the management of the Tema lorry station to ensure a clean environment.
“With the new management, drivers and traders are made to pay for the refuse they generate while cleaners have been employed to sweep the premises by the close of the day.” he said
Currently, the lorry station is swept frequently while refuse containers are collected at short intervals and containers placed in the communities so that people could dump and pay.
The MCE was happy to note that measures put in place to ensure a clean environment within the municipality was making a headway.
“We realized that as an assembly we have to employ people and pay them through our Internally Generated fund (IGF) to clean the municipality. I am saying this because we have most of the ceremonial roads in our assembly so there are private contractors for example that clean the main ceremonial roads,” he said.
“Though we are also playing our part as assembly, the citizens, those who ply Tema station, also have to keep the place tidy. We will do our best but without the effort of the media, the campaign on sanitation should not be left with the Assembly alone. At least all and sundry must be on board so that we keep our transport terminal as one of the best “.
Meanwhile, traders at the lorry station, have expressed mixed reactions regarding the new development. According to some traders they no longer sweep but makes daily payment whiles others have been employed to sweep and collect the rubbish.
For others, the poor sanitation condition at the lorry station for years remained the same. Madam Patience Alabi, a food vendor at the lorry station expressed worry that despite the payment for refuse, the place continued to be in a mess.
“Tema station is too filthy, it tarnishes our image, especially when travellers get to the station. Even when the station had been swept at night, we come in the morning to sweep again as well as scrubbing our working space. The sweepers have also not been consistent as they complain about non-payment. We are always reminded of the Covid-19 which is still in existence and the volume of filth over here is disturbing.”
She pleaded with the Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly to pay the cleaners well to enable them to execute their jobs well.
Mr Clement Nii Adjei, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) station Master at the Tema-Ashaiman branch of the Tema Station lorry park also shared similar sentiments.
“There is no neatness here anymore. We are told people are paid to sweep here but we come back to the station only to find the place packed with rubbish. The sanitation problem here is too bad and nothing has changed. The stench emanating from the gutters is killing us. We are pleading with authorities to help solve the problem.”
Mr Adjeitse Kotey, also a concerned driver, appealed to authorities to close the gate of the lorry station yard to save the place from a mess. Adding, that “People defecate here indiscriminately, and we have to scrub the place at all times”
Meanwhile, cleaners at the lorry station have also denied allegations for not sweeping at regular times. According to them, after sweeping at night, some junkies pick rubbish from traders and drop anywhere at the station, which they said was hampering the progress of their work.