Paramount Chief of Tapa Traditional Area Applauds Transformative Waste Management In Oti Region

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Multi-Million Integrated Recycling And Processing Plant (IRECOP)
Multi-Million Integrated Recycling And Processing Plant (IRECOP)

Story: Benjamin Makafui Attipoe, Dambai

A multi-million dollar Integrated Recycling and Composting Plant (IRECOP) for the Oti Region was commissioned at a grand durbar of chiefs and stakeholders of the region at Dambai, the regional capital. The facility, which was one of the sixteen (16) plants being cited in all the sixteen (16) regions of the country, can process four hundred (400) metric tonnes of waste per day. It was the result of a collaborative effort between the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) Limited and the Government of Ghana (GOG) under the Private Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

Since the creation of the Oti Region out of the then Volta in 2018, the government and stakeholders of the new region have been doing their best possible to bring development to the area. The regional capital, Dambai is one of the major communities bounded by the Lake Volta. It also has a big market where a lot of waste is also generated.

In Ghana, a daily solid waste of 12,710 metric tonnes is generated with the country’s annual waste volumes amounting to some 4,639,150 tonnes. Regrettably, less than forty (40) percent of the waste is collected and processed in an environmentally safe manner. The situation has far-reaching implications not only for the environment but also for the health of the population.

It is against this backdrop and the need to address this critical issue that the IRECOP was introduced. It represents an advanced waste management facility that employs cutting-edge technology to transform waste into valuable resources. The plant’s core function revolves around composting, enabling it to convert over sixty (60) percent of the daily waste into high-quality compost – a valuable product for organic farming.

The recycling and composting plant can sort out all paper and plastic materials including pure water sachets from any volume of waste generated. The plastics cover Low-Density Plastics (LDPs), High-Density Plastics (HDPs) as well as Medium Density Plastics (MDPs). The plant also has a magnetic component that picks out all metallic or scrap materials from the waste, leaving the organic component which forms about sixty (60) percent of waste generated by households in the country.

The end-product compost fertilizer or the IREOP compost, would be produced for the use of farmers on their farms. This fertilizer would not only be cheaper but also ensure higher yields due to its whole organic composition.

The commissioning of the facility was attended by a large number of chiefs from the eight (8) districts of the region, officials from the Ministries of Heath as well as Sanitation and Water Resources, some Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs) as well as a cross-section of the general public. Also present included Security Heads, Heads of Departments and Agencies in the region as well as staff of the JGC.

The Regional Minister, Dr. Joshua Makubu noted that the inauguration of the facility was a giant step in the development of the Oti Region. He maintained that the struggle for the creation of the Oti Region had nothing to do with land or their relationship with their brothers and sisters in the Volta Region and that it was purely based on the development of the region.

‘If anybody had told me some ten (10) years ago that we would have a plant in Oti Region and Dambai to be precise that would turn our waste into other materials that would be used, I think I would have doubted it but today, it has come to pass’, the Regional Minister pointed out.

Dr. Makabu was grateful to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo for his love for the region as well as his vision and exemplary leadership. He also commended the region’s chiefs for the release of land for the project and the Executive Chairman of the JGC, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, for his partnership with the government to bring this facility to reality.

He was hopeful that the management of the JGC would use its smartness, alertness, and innovative principles to maintain the facility, assuring that the Oti Regional Co-ordinating Council (ORCC) would continue to collaborate with the JGC to realize the vision and mission of the IRECOP in the region.

Chief Investment Officer of the JGC, Mr. Noah Gyemah noted that the strategy being employed in the process was to ensure that no waste was wasted, adding that research plans were underway to reach decisions that would convert the inorganic component of the waste into energy.

According to him, the investment policy and strategy of JGC were anchored in three main areas namely Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG Policy) which would drive a lot in a circular economy being envisaged from all these investments. The strategy, Mr. Gyema said was to make sure that the environmental, social, and governance structures around the plant were strictly adhered to.

The Investment Officer disclosed that the Company had obtained a carbon credit support from the Switzerland government which would inure to the benefit of the people of the region. The credit facility, he said would benefit the Dambai IRECOP and three others under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Mr. Gyemah said there was going to be a constant validation of waste collection at the facility as well as emission levels which were supposed to be zero, all geared towards guaranteeing the health and safety of the people and the environment of the IRECOP area.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Krachi East, Hon. Wisdom Gidisu was happy for the initiative, adding that it would create job opportunities for the teaming youth of the area as well. He thanked the ORCC headed by the Regional Minister, the JGC as well as the chiefs and people of the region for ensuring that the project became a reality.

The Oti Regional Manager of the Zoomlion Company Limited (ZL), Mr. Emmanuel Amemakalor said he was personally excited about the facility in the region for two main reasons. According to him, the plant would not only promote waste business in the area but also improve waste collection in all homes in the region. He was also optimistic that individuals at homes would now place importance not only on having refuse bins in their homes to store refuse but also see the wisdom in transporting such waste to the facility.

The Operations Manager in charge of the Dambai IRECOP site, Mr. Stephen Jessie Tetteh noted that the importance of the plant in the region could not be underestimated. He assured that the JGC would employ a vibrant maintenance culture as it had always done, to ensure that the plant was well maintained to achieve its intended purpose.

The Paramount Chief of the Tapa Traditional Area, Okoforobour Baffour Kwame Asante II chaired the function. He lauded the JGC and government for the collaborative effort in achieving this giant step which would transform waste management in all forms in the region.

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