Dr Joseph Siaw Agyapong, Executive Chairman of the Juspong Group of Companies, has said to ensure sustainable waste management in the society there is the need for close collaboration between government and private sector players.
This partnership, he said, is necessary to support the country to attain the objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal Six, which pertains to the provision of clean water, sanitation and resiliency to disasters.
Dr Agyapong was speaking during the unveiling of some 10 Mechanical Street Sweeper Vehicles in Accra.
The road sweepers automatically sweep, dump refuse and scrub with the help of an imbedded water tank, recover debris (e.g. metal particles, etc) and help reduce the risk of skidding and probable collision of motor vehicles; it clears stagnant water on the road surface which contributes to the development of potholes on our roads
Dr Agyapong said Ghana has been fortunate to receive a clarion visionary call from President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to purposefully work to ensure that Accra and indeed the entire country was transformed to attain our environmental objectives.
He said a year ago, during the presentation of the 2018 State of the Nation Address to Parliament, President Akufo-Addo re-echoed his vision that, “There is the urgent need for public authorities to find the means of making our cities clean”.
“Government is working with various private sector operators to tackle this major challenge, with strategies that are intended to effect a change in our attitudes towards waste management. Systematic efforts are being made to resolve the legacy of inherited debt in the sector.”
Dr Agyapong said in response to this national call for close partnership between the government machinery and the private sector players, “Zoomlion has been challenged, inspired and motivated to transform our operational activities to respond effectively to the President’s visionary charge of total environmental cleanliness.”
He expressed appreciation to President Akufo-Addo for his personal commitment to ensuring sanity in our environment and the creation of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MoS&WR), which has the mandate of ensuring dedicated policy formulation.
Dr Agyapong said with the guidance and support of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, his outfit continues to effectively interact with the 254 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) with whom they have Public Private Partnership (PPP) collaborations in waste management activities.
He said: “as the private sector continue to enjoy the support of Government, my outfit is committed to pursue with zeal our aspirations in waste management development in the country.”
“The zeal to pursue our focus on environmental cleanliness, Zoomlion has extended its operations to other African countries such as Togo, Angola, Zambia and Equatorial Guinea and Liberia”.
Mr Collin Ntim, a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said President Akufo-Addo decided to tackle the sanitation menace head-on by creating a ministry to augment the efforts of the various MMDAs to tackle sanitation.
He said Ghana has collaborated with all players locally and internationally towards making the country’s sanitation outlook a brighter one by consolidating the successes made over the years and making new efforts to reach a higher pedestal.
Mr Ntim, who is also the Member of Parliament for Offinso South, said the collaborations have yielded the desired results of which today’s ceremony was one and the launching of the first batch of 500 Waste Management Trucks to boost the transportation of waste to the final disposal site.
“These road sweepers was another strategic intervention to boost efforts towards making the nation clean”, he said.
He expressed the hope that Zoomlion Ghana would effectively collaborate with all the MMDAs concerned to ensure the smooth deployment of the equipment in order to maximize the associated benefits.
Mr Ishmael Ashitey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, said Ghana has placed emphasis on liquid waste management in the on-going discussions on Sustainable Development Goals.
He said liquid waste has the potential of transmitting numerous diseases of Public Health importance, it was critical to look at SDG 11 and 12, which looks at solid waste management and the general environment.
Mr Ashitey said the solid waste management sub sector still faces the challenge of a huge infrastructure gap and if not addressed it would be difficult to attain the SDGs on waste and sanitation.