The North East became the 15th region to benefit from government’s ongoing policy of constructing integrated recycling compost plants in the country’s 16 regions.
The policy, which is a collaboration between government and Zoomlion Ghana Limited (ZGL) and its partner, Komptech, is aimed at achieving the clean Ghana agenda.
The Regional Minister, Mr. Solomon N. Boar – who performed the brief and colourful sod-cutting ceremony while reading the keynote address on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi Municipality, said executing the project is aimed at achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 8, 11 and 13.
According to President Akufo-Addo, sanitation is a shared responsibility, and thus urges citizens to participate in activities that will improve their environs.
“Community leaders and local government institutions are therefore to effectively mobilise citizens for collective actions, such as behaviour change initiatives in basic sanitation promotion to accelerate the country’s socio-economic development,” he urged.
He also asked the stakeholders to ensure timely completion of the project, stressing that construction must be carried out in accordance with the required standards and specifications.
“The citing of such infrastructure comes with other accompanying benefits from social amenities: such as good roads, potable water and extension of electricity, which will help improve the local economy,” President Akufo-Addo mentioned.
The president used the opportunity to remind people in the region to continue observing COVID-19 protocols, adding that: “The fight against COVID-19 is still on, and my government will continue to put in place measures which support the fight against the pandemic; like free water for all initiatives, which has been extended from the initial six months”.
Sanitation Minister Cecilia Abena Dapaah ,whose speech was also read on her behalf, said the project forms part of government’s priority to ensure a clean Ghana.
“This project will help sustain gains made in the sanitation and water sector,” she averred.
She therefore expressed appreciation to Zoomlion for providing pick-ups for the sector, which she said have been delivered to the various security agencies for monitoring the environment.
“The ministry will continue to do what is necessary to improve upon water and sanitation in the country,” she added.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Jospong Group of Companies (JGC), Madam Florence Larbi – speaking on behalf of the Executive Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies/CEO of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, expressed gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his visionary leadership and personal support to the environmental sanitation sector and private sector development during his tenure of office.
“His commitment and dedication to ensuring a clean Ghana is very much appreciated. We as the leading waste management company in Ghana, and other parts of Africa, will continue contributing our quota to make his vision for this sector a reality,” she assured.
“It is a 200-tonne waste treatment facility equipped with 21st century technologies in sanitation management,” she revealed.
She explained that it will aim at providing a sustainable solution that recovers and recycles over 60% of the waste’s organic component into compost to boost the agricultural sector and support the Planting for Food and Jobs agenda.
“Other recyclable materials will also be separated and processed for reuse,” she added.
Furthermore, she said the waste treatment plant, when completed, will present the most suitable alternative to landfill waste disposal by deploying the latest technologies in sanitation management, adding that it will serve communities like Nalerigu East Mamprusi, West Mamprusi, Bunprugu, Yunyoo, Chereponi and other surrounding districts.
According to Madam Larbi, the region generates 100,000 tonnes of waste annually; noting that most of it goes into landfills, thus making it hazardous to the citizenry – and the facility has the potential of curbing this.
“The project is estimated to cost €15million and will be completed within 4 months,” she said, adding that it will create 250 direct and 1,500 indirect jobs for the region’s teeming unemployed youth.