Last Friday, President John Dramani Mahama applauded Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a private waste management company, for its role in waste management in the country.
Zoomlion earned the president’s praise after handing over 400 new waste management trucks and 5,000 tricycles to metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in Accra.
President Mahama stated that his administration was focused on playing its roles in the environmental sanitation sector.
“We do recognize that the growth of the private sector is fundamental to sustainable development,” he said.
In a separate address to the gathering, the executive chairman of Zoomlion, Dr. Siaw Agyepong, announced plans to supply more than 1,000 bins to household.
He said the tricycles being used by the company were an innovative way of managing waste.
“These tricycles are particularly useful for high-dynasty communities and area prone to indiscriminate waste disposal practices,” Dr. Agyepong said.
The tricycles, he added, would help create between 5,000 and 10,000 jobs in the waste management sector.
Below is a copy of Dr. Agyepong’s speech
UNVEILING OF NEW TRUCKS AND OPERATIONAL EQUIPMENT, FRIDAY, 5TH FEBRUARY 2016,
FORECOURT TRADE FAIR CENTRE, LA – ACCRA
ADDRESS BY DR. JOSEPH SIAW AGYEPONG – EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, JOSPONG AND ZOOMLION GROUP OF COMPANIES
Your Excellency, John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana
Honourable Regional Minister for Greater Accra
Honourable Minister for Local Government & Rural Development
Honourable Ministers of State
Honourable Members of Parliament
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Environmental Service Providers
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
It is with much delight that I welcome you all to this ceremony, especially on behalf of the Zoomlion and Jospong Group of Companies as well as the Environmental Service Providers Association.
Your Excellency, this year marks ten years since Zoomlion started its operations as a company. We started with a passion to help foster good sanitation practices in our communities and to support government to achieve a high standard of sanitation nationwide.
From modest beginnings, we have been able to create 250,000 jobs through the public/private partnership concept spearheaded by government. Currently, we are managing a workforce of 75,000 people across the country, and we have also established offices in each of the ten regional capitals as well as in all the 216 districts.
Additionally, we have extended our services beyond the shores of Ghana to countries like Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Liberia. Our capacity for cross-regional growth is evident in our current efforts to expand our services to Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Conakry, Nigeria, and Kenya.
Role of Government
Your Excellency, in recounting where we are today, we do recognise the facilitative role that government has played in the development of the private sector. Through the recognition that the growth of the private sector is fundamental to sustainable development, government (along with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs)) has created an environment that enables private sector innovations to succeed. Such support, that is, the creation of a favourable environment for the private sector, yields positive results. This assertion is amply supported by our accomplishments.
Your Excellency, our accomplishments are numerous and diverse. But one that we are particularly proud of because of the simplicity of its innovation is the introduction of the manual and motorised tricycle concept in waste management operations in Ghana in the initial years of our operations. Tricycles are particularly useful for high-density communities and areas prone to indiscriminate waste disposal practices. This innovation infused a stimulating flavour, so to speak, into waste management in the country, and made it attractive to more people, thus generating between 5,000 and 10,000 jobs at that time.
Your Excellency, we have also sought innovative ways of developing our human resource in the waste management and sanitation industry. To this end, in collaboration with KNUST we have established the KNUST-Africa Institute of Sanitation and Waste Management to build the capacity of personnel in waste and environmental sanitation management at university level. Furthermore, we have established a school at JA Plant Pool, which offers training to mechanics. Through this programme we have sent about 100 mechanics for further training abroad. With our strong belief in gender equality, we have also trained women who were previously janitors to operate heavy duty machinery. This is the Zoom Captain concept – boosting the capacity of women to go beyond traditional notions of what they are capable of doing.
Your Excellency, in terms of infrastructural development, we have established compost plants and transfer stations, notably, the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant, which processes 600 tons of waste daily into compost and other recyclable materials; the Kumasi Compost Recycling Plant, which will soon see the addition of a treatment facility; and the Solid Waste Transfer Station (ZOOM PAK) at Teshie, which processes over 1,300 tons of waste. The construction of a compost recycling plant is currently underway in Achimota. Another example is the Lavender Hill Treatment Plant Project at Korle Gonno which converts liquid waste into biogas, a source of affordable energy.
These developments, undoubtedly, represent tangible contributions to waste management service delivery in Ghana. The country can now boast of waste management facilities and structures comparable to international standards.
Presentation of the trucks & Expected Impact on sanitation delivery
Your Excellency, today we are presenting 5,000 motorised tricycles and 400 refuse trucks to the MMDAs and members of ESPA in order to support waste management services in the country. The cost of the items is 50million US dollars. We were able to secure this facility through an arrangement with the manufacturers. Therefore, there was no cost to government.
It might interest you to know that all the tricycles were locally assembled. Indeed, we also have an assembly line for trucks. As a direct consequence of the acquisition of these motorised tricycles and trucks, over 10,000 jobs would be created immediately.
Your Excellency, this initiative is in line with our corporate theme for this year – 2016, which is “Excellent Customer Service Delivery”. This theme was motivated by our awareness of our shortcomings, and the need for us to ensure quality services to our customers. Government, no doubt, is our number one customer, so we are through this presentation satisfying our customer need.
We would like to use this opportunity to thank the government and especially Your Excellency President John Dramani Mahama for instituting the National Sanitation Day (NSD). We can all recall the commitment made by Your Excellency the President in the 2015 state of the nation address in which you indicated your resolve to deal with the sanitation challenges facing us as a nation.
Zoomlion is committed to supporting this initiative. Indeed, since its inception we have provided logistical support for, and personnel to participate in the NSD programme through the Environmental Service Providers’ Association (ESPA).
This year – 2016, we pledge to provide all logistical needs for the National Sanitation Day (especially for communities needing sanitation services) as part of our customer service focus, and in fulfilment of our corporate social responsibility. We shall be supporting this national effort in collaboration with many celebrities in the country.
Your Excellency, we are committed to ensuring that the NSD programme continues, and becomes part of the heritage that we leave for posterity. We hope that one day it should be said, in recognition of our good sanitation practices as a people, that the national day had a transformative effect on Ghanaians.
Your Excellency, at Zoomlion, we see waste as resource; therefore, in our waste management approach we are guided by the 4R’s – Recovery, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. In this regard, this year we are adding to our existing waste recycling plants 300 mobile plastic recycling plants nationwide. We have a waste bin manufacturing plant that produces 1000 waste bins a day and 30,000 waste bins a month through recycling, and at a minimal cost. Our target is to manufacture and distribute one million recycled bins nationwide by the end of 2016. Data is currently being collected to ensure that the distribution of the bins is effectively done once they are manufactured. If each household gets a bin, the prospects of creating a good sanitation culture across our communities will be enhanced. This project could also create about 200,000 “self-sustaining jobs”.
It is our expectation that the youth will embrace the project in every community with support from the MMDAs and the Youth Employment Agency.
Your Excellency, these nationwide initiatives will come to nought if we are not guaranteed the support of our chiefs, assembly men, religious leaders and opinion leaders in the communities, as well as the co-operation of the institutions of state, government departments and agencies. While thanking all these stakeholders for their support so far, we would like to appeal to them not to relent in their efforts but to continue to offer their support and cooperation in matters to do with sanitation and waste management.
Your Excellency, before I close my address, I would like to thank you most sincerely for the seriousness with which you are dealing with the challenges that confront us as a nation in the area of environmental sanitation and waste management. Your leadership, as expressed through your commitment and determination, should see us through these very challenging times.
I would also like to thank our manufacturers as well as our development partners for their continuous support. The supportive role of the Minister of Local Government, Honourable Collins Dauda, our Honourable Ministers, Members of Parliament, MMDCEs, and the Media is well appreciated. I further wish to acknowledge the contribution of management and staff of Zoomlion and its affiliates and the ESPA for their hard work. Let us continue to work to make Ghana happy.
Finally, I would like to express our gratitude to all Ghanaians for their support. The Zoomlion Group of Companies, together with the ESPA, promise the good people of Ghana better services ahead. With this augmented fleet, we do not have any excuses for non-performance or failure. Let us all, as Ghanaians, work together to ensure the environmental health of our dear nation.
Thank you for your time; and God bless us all.