Despite efforts by city authorities to control the indiscriminate disposal of waste in the metropolis, the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, is still reeling from the menace of waste. Sanitation continues to be the major bill on most assemblies’ budget in the various district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies in the country.
The assembly in 2017 launched a programme dubbed Keep Kumasi Green and Clean (KKGC) campaign, where the assembly installed waste bins at various locations within the city to enable patrons to dispose of their waste conveniently. As part of the campaign, aside from ensuring a clean environment, the project also saw the planting of 72,399 species of different trees throughout the city. In partnership with the Multimedia Group, the assembly monitored households and businesses that were not keeping their surroundings clean, published their stories and also got them arrested and prosecuted.
78 were convicted and fined various sums of money. Twenty-four of such cases were still pending before the court while four had been struck out and eight withdrawn, said the Public Relations Officer of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Ms Henrietta Afia Konadu Aboagye.
The central business district (CBD) alone generated 200 tonnes of waste on a daily basis. It cost the assembly about GH¢50 to clear one tonne of waste. Most of the drains have been choked with plastic waste, preventing the rain water from flowing easily through the drains. All the water bodies in the metropolis have been inundated with bottles, plastic bags and water sachets.
The assembly has partnered with a non-governmental organisation that is into recycling to build a plastic collection centre at Asafo. The organisation also encourages pickers of plastics to drop their waste there at a fee. Mr Ernest Okai said the main challenge was the inadequate dumping sites in their area. He said the waste cars or tricycles did not go to the homes to collect the waste, the people found alternative means to dispose of their waste. The money spent to clear the waste could have been channelled into other developmental activities.