October 1, 2020

Accra bus terminals at the mercy of filth

Some major lorry terminals in Accra continue to face huge sanitation challenges.

As part of The Mirror’s sanitation project, we put our spotlight on the Tema Station and Odorna bus terminals located within the heart of the capital, this week.

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Located few metres away from the ministries enclave and the court complex, Tema Station is known for its central point for passengers who travel to different parts of the country.

However, piles of refuse are usually left uncollected at various sections of the terminal for days posing serious health risks to users of the terminal.

According to some of the market women and drivers, the only waste collection bin at the station is sometimes left for the rubbish to decompose before it is collected, a situation they say is unhealthy for them.

For years, the frontage and some sections of the terminal have also gained notoriety for pungent smell due to piles of refuse left in the main drain in front of the station.

Food vendors
Food vendors have also disregarded the insanitary condition and continue to sell food to consumers in and around the area.

They expressed disappointment in the managers of the terminal and other stakeholders for not doing their part of the bargain.

“As traders, we pay money on a daily basis to the authorities, but these people seem not to care about the situation here. When customers come they complain, so some don’t even buy at all,” a food vendor told The Mirror.

“I believe that something is not right with the handling of this place. When it rains, it is an eyesore — scent from discharges from the waste can travel all the way to that last office and you can imagine the embarrassment this brings” a driver said.

A lot of the bus terminals are filled with filth

The Welfare Chairman of the station, Mr William Ocquaye, also stated that his numerous attempts to get the waste collected have yielded no results because the station owed Jekora Ventures, the main waste collection company responsible for the terminal.

“They say we owe them about GH¢7,000, so they were demanding for settlement of the arrears for their service rendered to the station, but it is being settled in installment for now,” he said, as he expressed dissatisfaction about their service.

Odorna terminal
The situation was not different at the Odorna terminal where some rubbish had been left uncollected for days.

At the time of the visit, a worker of Jekora Ventures who had been asked to collect the piled up rubbish refused because he claimed he had not been paid.

“Don’t come and call anyone to come and work, we have not been paid now,” one said when he was asked to assist in carrying garbage into a waste container on duty at the time.

Outstanding debts
Responding to the issues, the Managing Director of Jekora Ventures, Mr Immanuel B. Nartey-Tokoli, said despite the heavily subsidised service they provided which was part of its corporate social responsibility, a lot of institutions owed them huge sums of money as debts.

“We operate under the Fee and Performance-Based Franchise Agreement of the Metropolitan and Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs) and the Polluter-Pays-Principle. What this means is that our revenue source is based on beneficiaries of our services which is pre-financed by us. However, our beneficiaries are enjoined to pay us directly.”

Mr Nartey-Tokoli explained that the huge locked up funds which had limited their cash flow had negatively impacted the operations of the company.

“Although we are classified by the Imposition of Restrictions Act; 2020 Act 1012 our application to access the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) stimulus package was not accepted because we employ over 200 workers while the eligibility criteria accept for less than 100 workforce.”
“We are prepared to play our part in these difficult and trying times, but we are handicapped by limited cash flow, breakdown of our vehicles, high cost of spare parts and other inputs necessary to maintain continuous delivery of quality uninterrupted services due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

He added that “We have appealed to the Municipal Chief Executive of Korle-Klottey Municipal Assembly to assist us to retrieve our lock up funds in excess of GH¢1,447, 000.00 as of March 31, 2020, owed us by the ministries, departments, and agencies over the years.

He also admitted that the lack of continuous daily access to final disposal sites was also a major challenge to their operations.

“With the onset of the rains, it has become more difficult to access the only landfill site at, Nsumia in the Eastern Region.
“The situation is adversely affecting the efficient delivery of solid waste collection service in our assigned zone,” he explained.

Source: General News

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