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
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....
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?