Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong has been re-elected as President of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) for the next two years – 2022-2024 – at the 5th ESPA AGM held in Accra on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
With his re-election, Dr Siaw Agyepong becomes the only person to have held the position for the second time.
The AGM, chaired by Dr Siaw Agyepong, saw other members such as Danny Annang elected as 1st Vice President, and Williams Stanly Owusu, 2nd Vice President.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Siaw Agyepong, who is also the Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC), thanked members of the ESPA for renewing their confidence in him and pledged to work with the other executives to make the association a formidable one.
“Let me thank all ESPA members for the unflinching support that you have given to the leadership of the association and for your tireless efforts in making this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) a success,” he expressed.
He urged members of ESPA to rally behind him and the executives to work together to make Ghana clean, great and strong “through our concerted efforts.”
Meanwhile, following the decommissioning and re-engineering of the Kpone landfill site, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) has disclosed that it has secured a 65.5 acre land at Ayidan, in the Ga South Municipal of the Greater Accra Region, for the construction of a new engineered landfill.
According to the sector Minister, Mrs Abena Dapaah, who made the disclosure in a speech read on her behalf during the 5th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) in Accra, on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, the completion of this landfill will take care of final waste treatment and disposal to augment the massive investment made by the private sector.
The 5th AGM of ESPA brought together all the regional chapters of the ESPA, and it was themed: “Public Private Sector Engagement For A More Sustainable Waste Management.”
She added that the ministry was also constructing a waste transfer station at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), which will help address the problem of long haulage distance of members within the northern enclave of Greater Accra.
She commended ESPA members for their support to her ministry since its creation.
“Indeed, ESPA’s mission which is to complement, and support government’s efforts to resolving environmental challenges in communities in Ghana is well in line with the theme for this 5th AGM,” she stressed.
Mrs Dapaah underscored that a strong relationship between the public and private sectors was crucial to ensuring that the gains chalked in the sanitation space were sustained.
“National and home-grown solutions in the sanitation sector have proven to be the answer to our challenges…,” she averred.
It was along this line that she indicated that her ministry was ensuring that engagements with stakeholders including ESPA were deepened to have in place a sustainable waste management landscape.
She called on the citizenry to stop the practice of waste burning, adding that “One in five households in the country practise burning of waste, and such rates surprisingly.do not vary in urban areas from the rural.”
The implications of waste burning on Ghana’s climate, she pointed out, cannot be overemphasised.
According to her, segregation of waste at this point remained the nation’s best approach to recycling.
“Of course, segregation has implications on waste companies which includes additional fleet capacity, additional staff etc., all of which eventually leads to costs in the short to medium term,” she said.
However, Mrs Dapaah said the benefits of waste segregation to the country’s environment were guaranteed in several ways.
These, she mentioned, include prolonged life of landfills, value-addition of salvaged materials, that is, plastics and organic waste, reduced frequency among others.
She assured that her ministry was collaborating with the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to put in place the necessary measures to sensitise and vigorously enforce the sanitation bye-laws to ensure high compliance and attitudinal change among the citizenry towards environmental cleanliness.
The President of ESPA, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, in his address, was full of praise for the Akufo-Addo administration for creating an enabling environment for private sector to thrive in the sanitation sector.
“I am delighted to say that the government of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given true meaning to this mantra. Through His Excellency’s transformational leadership and relevant policy interventions, an enabling environment for the private sector to grow has been created,” he stated.
He said this was an environment that empowers the private sector to do more, and “we in the sector should not waste it nor take it for granted.”
He also applauded Mrs Dapaah for her leadership and supportive role in the sanitation industry.
“The government’s achievement in this sector is unprecedented and historic and it is worthy of note that since independence, over 60 years ago, it is during this administration that Ghana has experienced massive environmental infrastructural improvement.
Thirty-six (36) plants were commissioned within a year! These are 16 IRECoPs, 14 medical waste treatment plants, 4 wastewater treatment facilities in Tema, Takoradi, Tamale and Kumasi.
Others, he said, are decommissioning and reengineering of the two major landfill sites in Kpone in Accra and Oti in the Ashanti Region with technical support from our American Partners using very modern technology.
According to him, ESPA’s membership now stands at 7,500 from a humble beginning of 28 members.