The swift intervention of the Kumasi Police yesterday averted the possible takeover of the Oti-Dompoase landfill site by a group of demonstrators led by Hon. Eliot Bannor, Presiding Member of the Asokwa Municipal Assembly.
The presiding Member, flouting Ministerial directives, claims since the Landfill is situated in the Asokwa Municipality, it was the administrative right of the Asokwa Assembly to manage the Landfill hence the action.
The demonstrators prevented workers at the Landfill site from working and stopped vehicles from dumping refuse at the site.
The demonstration comes a week ahead of the commencement of activities marking the 20th anniversary of the enstoolment of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as Asantehene.
But the police seeing the action of the demonstrators could thwart efforts to keep the environment clean before the royal anniversary moved in to prevent any clash and imminent takeover of the facility.
The Kumasi Metro Chief Executive, Hon Osei Assibey Antwi has indicated that the KMA has the right to manage the facility on the strength of an authority by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.
In November, 2018, the sector Ministry directed the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, in the face of the creation of the Asokwa Municipal Assembly, to continue managing the facility to facilitate uninterrupted waste management serve delivery in the metropolis until further notice.
The directive, signed by Joseph Obeng-Poku, Acting Chief Director for the sector Minister requested the Asokwa Municipal Assembly to stop all actions in respect with the management of the Oti Landfill and refrain from any action that would disturb the peace of the Metropolitan.
The directive of the Ministry of Sanitation follows the realisation that the Oti Landfill is a strategic infrastructure facility which provides essential services to the entire residents of the Kumasi metropolis and therefore requires uninterrupted operation to ensure effective and efficient waste management.
The decision of the Ministry of sanitation was also informed by the fact that Standard Operating Procedures needed to be followed to ensure sustainable operation of the facility which requires very high level expertise and financial resources which should not be compromised.
It was also indicated that the KMA which had incurred an accumulated outstanding bills which dates back to 2012, continue to manage the facility to resolve the deteriorating conditions and salvage the landfill facility.
The Presiding Member of KMA, Hon. Abrahim Boadi alias Opooman, has condemned the action of his colleague Presiding Member of the Asokwa Assembly, who is privy to the ministerial directive, to stop employees and vehicles from working at the site.
He explained that by law a Municipal Assembly could not manage waste because it is only Metropolitan Assemblies that have Waste management departments to manage landfill sites. “At best municipal assemblies had environmental units to manage waste”, he said.
Meanwhile, the KMA boss has assured that the Assembly would ensure that efforts at maintaining a clean are sustained.
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