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Waste management companies in Ghana are asking the government to allocate Gh¢ 400 million to the sanitation sector ahead of the presentation of the 2016 budget.

The umbrella body of these companies, the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), said the current disbursement of funds to the sector is inadequate.

The association explained that the amount being asked should go into dredging of water bodies across the country to ensure the free flow of water when it rains. Parts of the funds, if allocated must also be used to construct waste segregation facilities, the association demanded.

Government this year committed Gh¢50 million to victims of the June 3 flood and fire disaster.

But the ESPA feels more resources should rather be directed to tackling the sanitation problems in the country.

Meanwhile, ESPA members are also demanding a tax rebate on imported equipment used in their line of duty. Operators of these companies claim they are made to pay huge sums of money as import duty on their vehicles and other equipment.

The Executive Secretary of ESPA, Ama Ofori-Antwi cited an example where “one of our members had to pay GHC 56,000 to clear an equipment she had imported into the country… they said it was second hand”.

The group is also asking for higher rates for waste collection to solve the issue of cost recovery by its members. Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are responsible for fixing the rate for the various communities, but Ofori-Antwi opined, “the companies are not breaking even”.

By Tawakalitu Braimah

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