Lavender Hill (a sprawling stenchy dumpsite for liquid waste – mostly faecal sludge) in the heart of Ghana’s capital, cannot be closed down now until a practical alternative has been provided, Accra Mayor Alfred Vanderpuije has said.
Vanderpuije says the current cholera epidemic – which has struck close to 6,200 people in Accra alone – will be worsened if Lavender Hill is shut down immediately.
The smelly enclave is the receptacle of at least 200 tanker loads of untreated faecal sludge daily, according to the Mayor.
Located a few hundred metres from Ghana’s biggest referral health post – Korle Bu Teaching Hospital – at the Korle Gonor suburb in Accra, Lavender Hill’s rather ironic name reflects the disgusting stench that shrouds the entire area.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently dragged the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to court and secured a ruling to have the place shut down.
Vanderpuije however told private FM station, Gold, Wednesday, that the Assembly explained to the Court that an immediate closure could be counterproductive. He says the Court has, therefore, given the Assembly up to the end of the year to cease dumping feaces at the coastal waste site, which channels the sludge into the sea.
The Mayor says there are alternative liquid waste treatment plants available for use, but have been rendered dormant due to lack of funds. He says the Government has promised to release funds for their operation within two months and so has assured residents of the area of a closure by December.