Accra, July 21, GNA- Some residents of Prestea, a mining community in the Prestea Huni Valley District of the Western Region, have expressed worry about the lack of waste bins in the community.
The community has over the years been saddled with filth and as a result, the residents are battling with health issues whilst the environmental officials are aloof about their plight.
They are therefore calling on the authorities as a matter of urgency to provide them with the bins.
Salifu Ali, a resident expressed dissatisfaction about the situation claiming that: ‘‘If you go to other towns, there are rubbish bins for refuse which are picked by trucks and are transported to areas far off settlements, which would not cause harm to the people but over here in Prestea it is not so.”
He stated that, the community pleaded with government years ago for aid but to no avail.
The unresponsiveness on the part of government therefore led inhabitance to enter into an agreement with Golden Star, the company that oversees mining activities in the community.
According to the residents, since Golden Star was on the verge of collapsing, it was agreed that the community would give the company a land to work on and in return gives the community one per cent its income to facilitate social development.
‘’The company agreed to fulfill certain demands to the community if we agree to work on our land. It is almost a year now and not even chicken droppings have been brought as a start in fulfilling the promise,’’ Mr Ali alleged.
He said members of the community were left with no option than to resort to a crude dump site they call ‘Borlaetsi’ and according to the residents, one cannot stand the stench that emanates from the site.
Additionally, the dump site has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects making malaria, typhoid and cholera cases prevalent in the community.
Reacting to claims made by the residents, Enoch Konadu, An Environmental Officer at the District Assembly, discounted the claims that his outfit had become a white elephant in tackling the sanitation issues confronting the community.
He stated that although much had been done to manage waste in the community, the District Assembly’s efforts are being thwarted by the growing population of Prestea.
He added that, there are only 10 Environmental Officers in the District and per the 2010 census, the ratio of an Officer to resident is 1:159304 rendering their work in effective.
‘’When the situation is out of control, the locals burn the heaped rubbish to provide space for them to keep disposing their rubbish. We the officers also disinfect the dump site periodically to prevent the spread of diseases.’’ Mr Konadu explained.