IRECOPs will end pockets of refuse in towns, cities —Sanitation Minister

IRECOPs will end pockets of refuse in towns, cities —Sanitation Ministe

The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has underscored that completion of the Integrated Recycling and Composting Plants (IRECOPs) across the country will help a great deal to eliminate pockets of refuse that are often sighted in the towns and cities.

She described the IRECOPs as ‘novel recycling plants’ which will not only be connecting and treating waste but adding value to that waste as well.

Madam Dapaah made the assertion on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, when she paid a working visit to the construction site of the IRECOP project at Ho in the Volta Region.

The minister’s visit formed part of a three-day tour in the Volta and Oti Regions to inspect ongoing government projects in the water and sanitation space in the two regions. In the Volta Region, she inspected three projects – two in water and one in sanitation.

She said the IRECOP project is a collaboration between the government of Ghana and the private sector, noting that waste in the regions will be hauled to IRECOP locations where it will be treated and worked on.

After inspecting the ongoing IRECOP at Ho, an excited Madam Dapaah expressed: “I am sure by end of the year the project will be finished and commissioned by His Excellency the President”.

On that score, she asserted that President Akufo-Adoo is a man of “great vision”.

“Had it not been him, I don’t think this idea would have crystallised into what we are seeing here today,” she said.

Continuing, she said setting up the MSWR has paved the way for a lot to be done in the water and sanitation sector.

“And I am also happy that we are effectively collaborating with the private sector to have very important projects like this IRECOP in Ho and in all the regional capitals. The ministry’s vision is also to tie-in the president’s vision to make Ghana a clean country, especially our capitals,” she averred.

This, she explained, is because in not much waste is generated in the rural communities.

“They don’t have much problem with waste, and most of the waste they generate is organic which can easily be turned into compost,” she said.

Earlier, during the inspection of a water treatment plant at Adidome in the Central Tongu district, she reiterated that government is on course to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation by the year 2030.

This, she pointed out, is evident in the huge investment made by government in the water and sanitation space across the country.

“…it is very important that we get the parameters right. Sod has been cut for some of the water projects in the Volta Region. Last year, we were privileged to have His Excellency cut the sod for eight (8) major water projects totalling US$1.4million which will give 4.5 million people access to water.

“…It is a huge input into the water sector. If I add up what will be in rural water, which amount to about 1.2 million people, you can see that government is on course to achieving the SDG 6 on Water and Sanitation by the year 2030,” she said.

Mrs. Dapaah stressed that her job as a minister is not to sit in the office and write only, stressing that “we always have to be in the field to see what is happening”.

“The president cuts the sod, the contractor is on site, and the private sector in collaboration with government to start a project. And we come to the site to make sure we appreciate what is going on and proffer advice and appreciate also the contractors on site,” she explained.

She indicated that the project is the third phase of the five-town water project in the Volta Region.

She disclosed that this third phase will add on a “very important component which will cost us €11.5million and the contractors are Messers Strabag AG from Vienna, Austria.”

In this regard, the minister assured that her ministry will ensure that the local content component of the contract is adhered to as directed by the president.

“And we make these visits and trips to the projects to make sure that the local content is executed to the letter, because we need to employ local staff where we need them to work; and the people in the catchment area, especially the youth, should be the beneficiaries of these jobs,” she said.

“We know what was existing previously in these catchment areas. We had water-borne and water-related diseases. But with what we are going to do that will see an increase in the water supply, we will surely eradicate all these water-borne diseases and make sure the people have good and healthy lives,” she further assured.

For phase three of these water projects, Mrs. Dapaah revealed that: “We will be adding 10 kilometres of mainline distributions.

“We are also adding 73 standpipes, and in the Adaklu district we will create 163 standpipes and transmission lines as well.”

The project, she said, is scheduled to be completed in 24 months, adding that “we are holding the contractor’s feet to fire to make sure he finishes on time for His Excellency to commission the project”.

The minister is expected to inspect the Keta Keta Water Treatment Plant today at Agordorme in the South Tongu district.

The Volta Reginal Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, in a welcome address said water and sanitation are critical to development of people in the region and Ghana as a whole.

According to him, there are several water and sanitation projects ongoing in the region.

“The government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is doing a lot in the Volta Region as far as water and sanitation is concerned,” he added

He described Mrs. Dapaah as a “very good friend of the region”, stating that she has paid several visits to the region already.

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