Stakeholders call for strict regime to manage funds from ‘borla tax’

Stakeholders in the Sanitation sector have called for strict financial management regime for the yet-to-be implemented Sanitation and Pollution Levy.

The Metropolitan Waste Engineer for the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Solomon Noi, suggested legislation similar to what was backing the National Health Insurance Scheme.

“Like we are doing for National Health Insurance, whatever means government is using to accrue funds to be able to sustain the National Health Insurance Scheme, that is the sort of direction I want us to go,” Mr. Noi said told Citi News.

“Such funds, when they are there, the proper legislative instruments must be promulgated to reinforce them,” he added.

In the 2021 budget, the government stressed the need for critical investments in the sanitation sector via the proposed levy which will be on petroleum products.

The levy is for 10 pesewas on the price per litre of petrol/diesel under the Energy Sector Levies Act (ESLA).

Among others, the government wants to support the fumigation of public spaces, schools, health centres and markets; revamp or reconstruct poorly managed landfill facilities and construct more waste treatment plants both solid and liquid in selected locations across the country.

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Mr. Noi said the reasoning for the levy was in order.

Ghana has only relied on conventional means for dealing with waste.

“Currently, over 90 percent of waste generated has been transported to the landfill site. And we don’t have an engineered landfill within the Accra metropolitan area. The only one we had is the Kpone landfill which has now been decommissioned,” Mr. Noi said.

“Currently we are relying on non-engineered dumpsites which are far away in the Eastern Region and Ga West Municipality,” he added.

Abukari Issaka, the Ballerplast manager, also noted that well-streamlined support could bolster his company’s recycling efforts.

Currently, he says: “I recycle those that I want to use and then give the rest to any other plastic company.

“I have been doing what I am doing for almost four years now and nothing has ever gotten to me. Actually in 2020, without support, I was able to get 1,438 kilos of plastics and this has been going on for a very long time.”

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“So imagine if I get support, I might get to five tonnes,” Mr. Issaka added.