Zoomlion Ghana Limited has done it again. The Executive Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong took a step forward to ensuring that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s aim of making Ghana a clean country is achieved.
He said he is adding up to the Zoomlion fleet in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to facilitate waste collection from households and the communities respectfully with 500 more brand new skip trucks. He said we cannot continue to use obsolete equipment and the traditional methods to collect and manage waste when times have changed hence his company’s efforts to bring state-of-the-art equipment to manage modern Ghana’s waste. The trucks were branded in the names of the newly created 38 MMDAs and moved there after the launching ceremony to begin waste collection.
Dr. Agyepong commended President Akufo-Addo for the creation of the Ministry of Sanitation. He was optimistic that it will help streamline strategic policies for the country to tackle the waste menace appropriately and called for government’s support for private sector to deliver for the betterment of the lives of Ghanaians.
In as much as it is reasonable for the well-rounded Ghanaian to expect some corporate responsibilities from Zoomlion Ghana Ltd. and largely Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong (Jospong) the brain and power behind the Jospong brand, it is fair for one to expect trust and respect of some form from the society Zoomlion serves. It is with regret however that the people for whom the environment is being sanitized by Zoomlion for their benefit rather denigrate and disrespect the very workforce that do the borla work on daily basis.
For some people, government should have abrogated any contracts and stopped Zoomlion from what it does today. That is their obvious and supposed thinking but have they also thought for a second that Zoomlion is not the first private waste management company in Ghana? They have no idea how badly other private waste management companies are faring financially and logistically due to this same attitude we Ghanaians show to waste management.
This is the company who’s innovation and proactive strategies took us from the Donkey-Carting of refuse era through to the Manual Tricycle, Motorized Tricycle to Skip and Compaction Trucks systems, the reasons we have some cleaned streets and public areas in the cities and the communities and yet each time we want to talk waste we blame it on Zoomlion. Ideally how does ladle eat some of the soup? Zoomlion does the cleaning and if for contractual limitations it doesn’t cover some of the areas in the cities and our bad behavioral attitudes that makes some portions of town unkempt should we not encourage the company to do better.
In Accra for instance, people carry refuse in their cars in sacks and bags from home early in the morning only to dump it at vantage points on the principal streets such as Spanner Junction, Kasoa Interchange, Mallam Junction and many more usually after Zoomlion has cleaned and left and turn around to blame the company for not working. How disciplined are we as a people to be doing this?
Areas such as Trasacco and East Legon are some of the places Zoomlion manages waste, the place is spectacularly neat at all times because the attitude of the residents is worth praising. Every household at least maintains a waste bin and ensures they keep their garbage in those bins for Zoomlion to lift.
The consistent cleaning and devise of mechanisms to make the environment even cleaner and help solve major waste problems in the country should be one single reason why nobody or institution or government should toy with the company. Politics is good but if one plays politics with people’s health and life it is catastrophic and disastrous to say the least. It is in the interest of the politician that he/her people are healthy to support him/her implement their programmes and policies.
A reasonable person would want to assess how Ghana would have fared twelve years running without the emergence of Zoomlion in terms of environmental cleanliness, household waste management and job creation? In twelve years most if not all ceremonial and principal streets in Ghana are cleaned on daily basis and some concerned households who have assigned to the household waste bin system have their garbage collected frequently and hauled to some landfill sites. Now the Jospong Conglomerate operates a turnaround system popularly called the 360 degrees waste management cycle.
Zoomlion’s Achievement in twelve years
In Accra, the Accra Compost and Recycling Products (ACARP) and the Teshie and Achimota Zoomparks are the engine of this system. The waste that is being conveyed by the smaller trucks especially the tricycles and borla taxis (aboboyaa) are sent to the Teshie or Achimota Zoompark (transfer stations) and transferred mechanically into heavy trailers who will now send them to ACARP whereby the garbage is sorted into plastics, organic, glass and metals.
There is a similar one being constructed in Kumasi call the Kumasi Compost and Recycling Products (KCARP) which is 95% complete to address the recycling challenges there while efforts are being made to replicate same in Tamale, Takoradi, Koforidua and Cape Coast accordingly.
The organic waste is processed into compost for the agrarian constituency of Ghana a product that will take Ghana back to organic foods if it receives government support as private Ghana is already patronizing it. Every year, government spends millions of dollars to import fertilizer for agricultural purposes which is more expensive than the organic compost produced here.
The plastics is washed and melted and pelletized and added to the virgin material for the production of waste bins here in Ghana thereby reducing the tonnage of waste that goes to the landfills. Another Jospong company YEECO Plastics is focusing on the production of bin liners using the same plastic waste (polythene) for the waste bins to make waste management more convenient.
The company is starting a mobile composting plant system this year to be positioned at strategic points to do recycling of waste to reduce the waste that is being sent to the landfill site.
Zoomlion alone of the Jospong conglomerate has so far employed 3,000 core staff and have caused for the engagement of 45, 000 project staff across the nation making a total of 48,000. Is it not reasonable enough for one to posit that if Ghana had some 50 companies that have engaged or caused to be engaged as many as Zoomlion does, Ghana’s unemployment rates would have been manageable?
In calculable terms, 48,000×50= 2,400,000 meaning 2.4 million Ghanaians would have been employed in one way or the other, so will unemployment be reduced in the Ghana. This should inspire us to give all the needed support to our local companies who have the desire and capacity to improve our living standards and thereby boost the economy.
Over the years Zoomlion has brought into the country several waste management equipment ranging from the manual and motorized tricycles, skip trucks, compaction trucks, waste trailers, street sweepers and many others. In 2015 for example, the company imported and distributed 2000 compaction trucks and 5000 motorized tricycles to empower the various MMDAs to properly collect and transport waste from the households and communities to the landfill sites.
Today the company realizes that dumping everything collected in the landfill is not sustainable so it has constructed ACARP and KCARP to do sorting, composting of the organic wastes and recycling of the plastic wastes which reduces the volumes of waste to about 80% before it gets to the landfill site.
In order to get the raw material which is waste, the company strategically put up the Zoomparks at Achimota and Teshie to collect the waste from the smaller trucks and tricycles and transfer in the huge trucks (trailers) to ACARP and the landfill sites. This is also an effort to mitigate cost and reduce traffic on the road for the small trucks and tricycles to the landfill sites.
As a people, we need to support made in Ghana corporations, build our monopolies and support them to grow into multi-national status. If Zoomlion was that bad as some people would want us to be believe it would not have attracted the attention of the government of Angola, Sera Leone, Togo, Liberia and Equatorial Guinea to engage them to operate in such countries.
We the citizens of Ghana should be mindful of the fact that Ghana is ours and environmental cleanliness is core for our wellbeing. If we fail to keep our surroundings clean, the consequences will very inimical to our health.
Source: Francis Atayure Abirigo Communications Specialist (The views are entirely mine!)