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Shut down Abokobi dump site now — Residents

A view of the refuse dump at Pantang.A view of the refuse dump at Pantang.Picture: EMMANUEL ASAMOAH
Residents in and around the Abokobi dump site have called for the immediate closure of the site, which they say is affecting their health.

Failure to heed to the call, the Chairman of the Residents Association, Mr Elvis Akuamoah,  said would leave the group, supported by officials of the Pantang Hospital, with no option than to demonstrate.
Mr Akuamoah indicated that they had tried all legal means, including writing letters to the Ga East District Assembly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other bodies they thought could help end the dumping of solid waste in their environment but that had not yielded any results.
At a media briefing organised by the association and Pantang Hospital officials, Mr Akuamoah stated: “ This is not the first time that we are raising issues about the health implications of this site on us as Ghanaians in this locality. We exercised restraint and have been patient enough to wait for results, but to no avail. We, therefore, demand immediate stoppage of the dumping of refuse here”.
Ideal Location for meeting
Great Faith Anointing International Ministries, a charismatic church overlooking the dump, was the venue for the press briefing.
The church was obviously chosen to enable the media to experience what residents go through everyday. The smoke thickened as the meeting progressed and so did the stench, which became unbearable.
Health implications
“The smoke from the dump often engulfs the entire place and spreads from Abokobi to Ayikuma and Oyibi. The health complications suffered by us from the continuous exposure to the smoke, flies and bad odour have increased quite substantially, and yet this situation is completely avoidable”, Mr  Akuamoah stated.
He alleged that the leachate from the dump site, which got worse during the rainy season, found its way into ground water, heavily contaminating their water and boreholes dug by some residents who had no potable water supply.
“Children, as well as students attending school in this community, are the worst affected, yet no one seems to care about the health of these future leaders”, Mr Akuamoah  further stated.
He expressed regret that mentally challenged persons, staff at the Pantang Hospital and students at the Nursing Training College were also exposed to the same unhealthy conditions suffered by residents and alleged that the location of the dump impacted negatively on the socio-economic fortunes of residents.
Among others, the residents want the already dumped garbage to be treated and fenced, and also suggest that measures  be put in place to reduce the flies and the poisonous water now seeping into their sources of potable water.
The Abokobi dump site
The about 800-square metre Abokobi dump started as a temporary dump for solid waste generated in the now Ga East Municipality in 1997.
It was once a major receptacle for solid waste generated in virtually the whole of Greater Accra, except Tema and Ga South metropolises.
A visit to the site after the briefing, however, indicated that dumping of garbage had dramatically reduced from the previous 120 trucks a day to about 50 trucks daily since some of the waste was being hauled to the Tema Landfill site.
The Ga East Municipal Chief Executive, Mr John Kwao Sackey, had earlier indicated that plans were underway to shut the dump site, but obviously that was yet to materialise.

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