The Business Development Manager at the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), George Kojo Anti, has said political nepotism is hampering the Authority from enforcing the laws in executing its mandate of ensuring the best of standards in the country.
Speaking in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on TV3‘s New Day, Mr. Anti said Ghana has sufficient laws regulating e-waste, but the problem is with enforcement aggravated by political interference.
Although he affirmed that President Nana Akufo-Addo “has made his intentions clear as to where he wanted the nation to head; the people around who help form up the government may openly act as though they support the fight, they are undermining the effort of the Authority behind the scenes”.
“For some of us that have been in this job for quite some time, it gets frustrating when to the public we [politicians and leaders] come out and act as though we want to fix a problem and behind the scenes we come undermining the very institutions that have been given mandates to work and that is a serious problem,” Mr Anti lamented.
“It is a serious problem to us. And I know many people will not be happy with me for saying this.”
He was reacting to a TV3 documentary titled ‘Labour of Death’, which chronicled activities at the Agbogbloshie E-waste damping site; a site which has become a hub for young Ghanaians and minors as young as 3 years of age.
According to him, some of the requests were for the Authority to drop enforcement activities with excuses such as, “this is my brother, this is my son, and you know this man is a constituent of mine, so let’s just see how we can go around it”.
“If you see where those calls come from and the request that they are making, you will see that these are the same people who we have entrusted the leadership of the country into their hands,” he said.
“We have our instructions clear. Our laws tell us what to do so we will go ahead to do it. And we have been doing it for quite a while now,” he said.
Disposal of electronic waste continues to be menacing to authorities responsible for environmental health.
As part of efforts to halt this phenomenon, the government has placed a ban on importation of second-hand electronic products which would naturally find their way to the final dumping site at the Agbogbloshie e-waste site.
An independent study of workers at the e-waste sites show trace of heavy metals in their semen, a situation a Public Health Specialist, Benson Owusu, recognized could contribute to the statistics on infant and maternal mortality in Ghana.
He cautioned that “in our effort of ending infant mortality and maternal rates, till we fight this, we achieving this will be very difficult”.
By Paul Selorm Agbo|3news.com|Ghana