Former UK High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, has wondered which Accra Mr Joseph Siaw Agyapong, Chairman of private waste management firm, Zoomlion, was talking about when he boldly compared the city’s neatness to that of London at a recent sanitation forum held in Ghana’s capital.
“Which Accra does he live in? And which London has he visited?” Mr Benjamin asked on twitter.
On Friday, 9 March, Mr Agyapong said to the amazement and laughter of his audience at the forum that: “When you look on the streets now, everywhere is clean, everywhere is neat.”
He explained: “I said neat because you have not moved to other African countries. When you move to The Gambia and other places and you come back to Accra, you’d think that Accra is the new London.
“Sometimes do the benchmarking with other countries that you have visited.
“I have visited some countries and I think we are doing well,” Mr Agyapong insisted, admitting, however, that: “Even though we are not there yet, we are doing well.”
At the same forum, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Adda, however, said that Zoomlion is to blame for the filth in the capital.
Mr Adda said Zoomlion had failed to ensure that the waste in the environment are collected and disposed of properly.
He said: “Dr Agyapong [CEO of Zoomlion Ghana Limited and Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies], I’m sorry to disappoint you here…finding solid waste everywhere I feel really disappointed and if you were to ask me why this thing is so, I will put the blame squarely on Zoomlion. Zoomlion, to me, is the cause of it”.
Mr Adda said it was the responsibility of the private waste management company to supervise the cleaning of the environment. However, “they are not sweeping and collecting everyday”.
According to him President Akufo-Addo had indicated at the National Sanitation Campaign launch that as waste is generated daily the proper disposal of the waste should occur daily.
For him, the sweeping, collection, transportation and disposal of waste must occur daily without leaving huge piles of rubbish all over the city. By his assessment, the performance of Zoomlion in that regard has been below par and more effort is needed to tackle the sanitation problem in the capital adding: “I don’t think in the past year or so, Zoomlion has done so well enough”.