A high powered delegation including the Mayor Bo City Council, His Worship Harold Logie Tucker, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Mr. Dennis Vandi, the Director of Decentralisation Secretariat Mr. Alhassan Kanu, and the DFID sponsored international NGO Welthungerhilfe led by the Project Advisor Raphael Thurn, have ended a five-day international city exchange visit to the Ghanaian cities of Accra and Kumasi. The visit, which was aimed at learning from the Ghanaian experience in waste management with the possibility of replicating and domesticating the ideas from there for implementation in Bo and other cities in the country, started on Monday June 23 and ended on Friday June 27, 2014.
The team from Sierra Leone had an opportunity of seeing first-hand experience in waste practices in the Ghanaian capital Accra and the second city of Kumasi with solid power point presentations at all the places they visited.
Officially welcoming the delegation was the Ghana Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Julius Debrah who expressed happiness at the BCC/WHH initiative of learning from Ghana for possible implementation in Sierra Leone. Mr. Debrah said Ghana and Sierra Leone have a lot in common dating back to colonial days up to the peace making in the latter country.
At the Ghana MLGRD conference room, a power point presentation was made highlighting the road Ghana took in developing their waste management plan and how it was filtered from the top to the lower levels – NESSAP to DESSAP. The presentation was done by the Director of the MLGRD, Mr. Naa Demedeme and a waste technician Mr. Kwesi Kwansah.
From there the team moved to the Accra Metroplitan Assembly and on hand to receive the delegation was the Director of Finance Mrs. Lydia Sackey who deputized for the Mayor of the AMA, who was absent due to official assignment assigned to him by the President. Mrs. Lydia Sackey, in her succinct briefing, said that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly has 10 sub metropolises with each headed by a Director of Administration. She said most of the functions are done more at the sub metro levels and that household garbage collection is ongoing but not at the level expected. She divulged that their biggest problem in waste management is landfill site but that they are working assiduously to tackle the problem. She dilated on their sources of funding and how they were able to generate $9m in the last fiscal year alone.
The team later visited the AMA Waste Management Department where a detailed and thorough power point presentation on how the Accra waste is managed was done by Mr. Samuel Dennis Amoah.
A visit was paid to one of the biggest private investors in waste management in Ghana, Zoomlion, by the Sierra Leone delegation marshalled by their guide and waste expert Mr. Lukman Salifu. At Zoomlion the team was welcomed by Mr. Mohamed Mahama and was shown round the facilities they have on offer. Another presentation on Zoomlion’s current operations locally and internationally was done and depicted their vision, challenges, youth and entrepreneurial development. They also showed the mobile toilets they offer on hire by people and communities. The Sierra Leone delegation was further shown the vehicle and tricycle assembly plant managed by Zoomlion.
On Wednesday June 25, the delegation was taken on a conducted tour at a paper recycling plant on the outskirt of Accra called Paperex International Waste Environmental Services, which is a mix of Ghanaian and Indian technology in paper recycling. Before the tour, a presentation was made by Capt. F.B. Amoh Twum on how the paper recycling is done and the challenges they are faced with.
From there the team moved to the Tema Steel Plant where they were shown the steel works done and how it is imported. The delegation then hit the road for Kumasi and arrived late that day and checked in at the Miklin Hotel.
The Kumasi night cleaning exercise was next inspected by the Sierra Leone delegation and the Mayor BCC and Director of Decentralisation Secretariat were clearly impressed with the initiative and how it’s being done.
The following day Thursday June 26, the delegation was hosted by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly with Mr. Kotoka doing a presentation on waste management practices in Kumasi. Earlier Mr. Julius Tetteh made a presentation on how Kumasi got its name and its demographic and economic statistics. The delegation then visited an engineered landfill site in Kumasi before hitting the road back for Accra and made their way home to Sierra Leone on Friday June 27.