Assessing Theoperations and Management of the Kojorom Final Waste Disposal Site by the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly

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Rapid population growth and urbanization have resulted in poor environmental conditions in most urban settlements in Ghana. Solid waste disposal in particular has become a daunting task for the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country. Even though greater portions of internally generated and common funds of most Assemblies go into waste management, our streets and gutters are filled with rubbish which makes the environment very dirty. This study investigated the operations and management of solid waste dumped at the Kojokrom Dumpsite by the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), and the impacts of its operation on residents and the environment. The methodology used included questionnaires and interviews with key stakeholders, field measurements, and laboratory analysis of water samples from the Anankor river. The results show that about 202 metric tonnes of waste are received at the site daily. Also, the permanent technical staffs employed by the Assembly to manage the facility lack the requisite qualification to effectively do so. This contributed to the many environmental hazards experienced in the Kojokrom community. Majority (98.5%) of residents and scavengers had appreciable knowledge of the hazards they were exposed to from the dumpsite. About 90% of the respondents also agreed that the major hazards were odour, fire and smoke, windblown litter, surface water contamination, insects and rodents infestation, birds and leachate. The high mean values for the BOD (645.0 mg/L) in the Anankor river suggests that pollution of some sort has taken place in the study area. Some control programmes are in place to effectively reduce nuisances such as fire and smoke, pest, and accidents. However, in other cases such as leachate control and monitoring, surface water contamination, landfill gas, offensive odour and handling of hazardous waste, the control measures were not effective enough for the reduction of the nuisances. The poor management of the Kojokrom dump site is having a serious environmental consequence on the Kojokrom community and on the staff and workers at the dump site. It is recommended that the Assembly finds a suitable and sizeable land to construct an engineered landfill and employs qualified personnel to work at the waste management department.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology in partial fulfillment for the award of MASTER OF SCIENCE (Environmental Science) Degree,2012