BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE
|Rubbish heaps at public toilets is a common site in Ghana|
In living with their creed as waste management experts, Zoomlion Company Limited has introduced a general pool of expertise and resources involving all of Ghana’s waste management companies who will like to be part of it.
The general wealth of knowledge and equipment embracing the country’s waste companies, which is to be known as Zoom Alliance, is also meant to afford all the companies the capability to operate effectively in their various areas designated to them by the country’s city and district authorities.
It is believed this ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach would go a long way to help the country deal with its daunting challenges in managing its waste effectively and also do away with the many instances of heaped and uncollected domestic waste as a result of the unavailability of refuse containers, trucks and other equipment.
Announcing the establishment of the Alliance at a press briefing in Accra, Tuesday, August 28, 2012, Mr. A. B. Adjei, Managing Director, Zoomlion Alliance, said, having started as a project initiated under the Zoom Domestic Services wing of Zoomlion, it is now a corporate entity, with a structure as that of any limited liability company to perform the functions that were envisaged at the commencement of the project.
According to him, “the capital intensive nature of waste management presents a major barrier to progress; and it is against this background that the need for a collaborative front to help resource the industry and build partnership with waste management operators and effectively collect and dispose of waste in communities, was conceived.”
“So the idea of having a collaborative front, which has given birth to the Zoom Alliance, was as a result of the enormity of the challenges that waste management posed to both government and the client,” he stated.
Mr. Adjei also disclosed that in order to monitor the activities that flow from the challenges of waste management, the initiators of the Alliance found the need to register a waste management partnership, stressing that the Alliance is not a waste management company which is coming to add to the existing management company, but a collaborative effort “with the aim of providing a common operational platform on the basis of trust and transparency, to address the challenges confronting the industry.”
This he said, means it will never go out to solicit for a concession on its own but rather have a collaborative approach with existing management companies including Zoomlion itself.
The Alliance’s focus is also “to complement waste management operators’ equipment, their human and financial resources, so we can provide satisfactory waste management collection and disposal services, Mr. Adjei stated.
Divulging the vision of the Alliance, he said it is to create a common operational platform to address the increasing challenges confronting waste management operations in Ghana, while the mission is to bring all waste management operators together, by mobilising their human, financial and material resources, to provide best practice options for improved service delivery standards, for the mutual benefit of members.
“The establishment of Zoom Alliance is essentially to provide or to as it were, enhance the efficiency of waste management services in the country; and in doing so, the Alliance has positioned itself to provide the human, material and technical resources that most of these waste management companies as we speak, lack and therefore are not able to provide the level of efficient services required of them,” he reiterated.
Touching on the specific duties of the Alliance, Mr. A. B. Adjei said it will primarily be responsible for managing waste and revenue collection of authorised operational areas of Alliance members, which means the Alliance will be responsible for management of waste collection and waste disposal of all members who have joined it.
According to Alliance’s MD, it will also “facilitate the acquisition and management of technical, material and human resources, through the provision of personnel and equipment, for effective collection and disposal of waste across the country.”
The days when heaps of rubbish were left uncollected for weeks and months in towns and cities will thus become a thing of the past, as the Alliance will always assess the capacities of members that win contracts and accordingly make up for any shortfalls in manpower and equipment in areas covered by the contract.
Further, Alliance members will benefit from viable financial models to operate effectively with, so finance does not continue to be a stumbling block in the provision of effective waste management services across the country.
The Alliance will however not do everything by itself, but depend on outsourced services when the need arises – when available capacity of the Alliance is not adequate to meet up to the services expected to be rendered.
Outlining the steps for admittance into the Alliance, Mr. Adjei mentioned putting in of an application by way of a membership form, assessment and validation (must have a valid contract with an Assembly for an area) of the prospective operator, the acceptance and signing of an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), after which the new member’s area of operation will be visited for a full assessment, during which there will be registration of all members of the communities in the catchment area.