“Ghana is among those countries with the lowest coverage in sanitation and also among those where coverage isn’t improving,” Flemming Konradsen, an expert on international environmental health at the University of Copenhagen, said by phone. “Sanitation generally isn’t a priority of the population and it isn’t a sufficient priority of politicians.”
Feces-Clogged Shore Shows Africa Infrastructure Failings (c) Bloomberg.com 2014
A garbage collection bicycle sits with the slogan "Keep Ghana clean" by an open sewer river.
The World Bank will give Ghana $150 million in grants to improve access to potable water and basic toilets for the poorest residents of Accra, where most roads are lined with open drains and gutters that overflow during heavy rains.
Photographer: Merten Snijders/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images
Aug. 5 - 2014 (Bloomberg) -- Accra “wants tourism, the city wants you to be happy here,” said Robert Ansah, an adviser to the city’s mayor on sanitation issues. “We want the population to be healthy and we don’t want them defecating on the beaches.”
More than half of the population dumps solid waste in open spaces, Ghana’s national statistical service said last year in a report. Accra officials declined to comment on the city’s sanitation problems....
Fredrik Sunesson had high hopes when the first tanker truck unloaded feces from some of Accra’s 4 million residents at his recycling plant in Ghana’s capital. Seventeen months later, those expectations have been dashed.
A combination of red tape and disputes over payments mean Sunesson’s Slamson Ghana Ltd. is running far below capacity, he says. Most of the 140 tankers dump the contents of Accra’s toilets each day into the Gulf of Guinea at a foul-smelling dune known as Lavender Hill. The lagoon nearby is so polluted that scientists says most life-forms can’t survive. The slum nearby has earned the nickname Sodom and Gomorrah.
“If I go to a public toilet, I have to pay,” Mensah, a 36-year-old welder, said in an interview. “This place, we call it the beach toilet. Plenty of people prefer to come here.”
In May 2014, Ghana’s government shelved a $595 million project to improve sewers, waste-water treatment and storm drains in Accra. More planning is needed, according to Ansah, who also serves as the project’s executive secretary.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank guaranteed financing for the plan, which included dredging the slimy black lagoon on Accra’s shoreline. Without dredging, the lagoon’s trash-strewn banks have been left with mounds of sludge as high as three-story buildings.
There’s also a lack of political impetus to provide basic sanitation, according to a study published by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
Meanwhile the trucks continue to show up every day at Lavender Hill. Despite a court order to close the site, city authorities continue to take a fee of 15 cedis ($4) per load. That’s enough to pay for proper treatment for the waste, the World Bank said.
Ghanaweb News: This article was published in May 2014. Good 12 months, before so many people had to die, in the Flood and Fire of June 3rd, 2015!
Is that Accra AMA boss not responsible? Is not all of Ghana government responsible?
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