MP threatens to sue Ghacem over alleged pollution in Tema

Member of Parliament for Tema East, Daniel Titus-Glover, has served notice he would sue the country’s largest cement producer, Ghacem, for environmental pollution in his constituency. He claimed the company’s factory in his constituency has been producing stench and dust; a situation he said was affecting fishing businesses in the area. “… The stench; the bad odour that comes from their factory, when you see the women selling their fish, sometimes, you see them with the expatriates. When they smell, they think it’s the fish so off they go. It makes them lose sales very much,” he claimed. Accordingly, he said “I’m taking them to court. The last time I spoke to my lawyer they’ve not filed.” Mr. Titus-Glover said when he became a member of parliament in 2014, he was given a tour of Ghacem’s factory and realised they had put in place to check the level of pollution but noted the measures were not enough.“They took me round their plant and showed me some filters that they are using to make sure they control the dust. They’ve done well but there is still room for improvement,” he stated. The MP, who is also a deputy minister for Transport also accused Ghacem of neglecting the constituency in terms of corporate social responsibility. He claimed Ghacem has in the past 50years not done any project in the area or supported the people of Tema New Town. “And what is even more striking that hurts me is that throughout the 50 years of Ghacem production, I’ve never seen any support that they’ve done in Tema New Town,” he alleged. [caption id="attachment_77802" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The MP, Mr. Titus-Glover[/caption] Mr. Titus-Glover claimed that most of all Ghacem’s support goes to other places in the country; something he said has been his concern as an MP for the Tema East. “I’ve asked them [people in the constituency] to make a petition to Ghacem, give me a copy and make another petition to me so that all of us, we will sit down with Ghacem and see what we can do,” he advised.

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Allegations ‘not true’ Meanwhile Ghacem has denied the allegations by the MP, describing it as “interesting” and challenged Mr. Titus-Glover to indicate where he is getting that information. “You can never say that in a cement factory, in the whole world, there wouldn’t be emission or actually pollution but there is a level which is accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency,” Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director of Ghacem, Dr. George Dawson-Amoah said on TV3’s Midday Live Saturday. He added: “I wish that the allegation is actually documented for us to just look into it critically”. He wondered where the MP got his record from with regards to the claim that Ghancem has not been undertaking any corporate social responsibility in the area of operation for the past 50 years. “I can show you record from next week Monday…Annually, we distribute about 50,000 bags [of cement] to communities and it will be surprising for you to know that the communities of preference are Takoradi and Tema where our two plants are located,” he indicated. Again, Dr. Dawson-Amoah said when Ghacem recently celebrated its 50 years anniversary, they made a donation to the Tema General Hospital but did not state what was or were donated. “I can confidently say that that allegation that Ghacem has not done anything in Tema ….is not true” Meanwhile, he said they were ready to sit with the on the issues he has raised. By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana  ]]>