By, James Amoh Jnr, GNA
Tema (Borteyman), Dec. 31, GNA - The Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) and the newly-created Tema West Municipal Assembly (TWMA) have locked horns over ownership and management of the Borteyman Sewage treatment plant.
The sewage plant, which is currently managed by the TMA, serves most communities in Tema and its environs, receives sewage collected daily in cesspit tankers from households and emptied for onward treatment.
It will be recalled that in March this year, the TWMA was inaugurated after it was carved out of the TMA as a move to deepen the decentralization system and to strengthen government’s resolve to spread development across the country through local governance.
Several months after it was inaugurated, members of the assembly are alleging that the TMA was not making conscious efforts at releasing assets to the Assembly including the sewage treatment plant located at Borteyman in the Tema West Municipality.
A visit to the treatment plant showed some heavily built men supposedly assigned to the facility by the TMA to protect the facility and to prevent intruders from gaining access to it, although there was someone officially designated to man it.
Other security personnel from the TWMA had also been stationed there in anticipation of a possible attack by the other group.
Nana Yaw Opoku Danso, the Chairman of Environmental Management and Sanitation Sub-Committee of the TWMA, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Thursday, asserted that in spite of the countless letters to the TMA and unrelenting attempts to retrieve all assets under the jurisdiction of the assembly, the TMA had refused to dialogue to resolve the issue amicably.
He said the TMA had deliberately refused to release the facility and other bungalows to the TWMA, citing their unwillingness to release documents covering their temporal office building and documents covering on-going projects in their jurisdiction.
He said the insufficiency of official bungalows for the assembly was not just posing a great challenge to the smooth and effective running of the assembly, it was also financially constraining since most directors lived in rented apartments.
Mr Opoku Danso noted that nearly a year after the inauguration of the assembly, there was no transitional assets committee in place to ensure the smooth handing over of assets to the newly-created assembly.
The unavailability of a transitional team, the sheer defiance and unheeded calls made to the TMA to relinquish these assets, he further stated, had the tendency of causing a clash and undermining the development strides made over the time.
“We are logistically constrained, with no seed money and vehicles to work with as an assembly, ”he added, warning that “if they continue to decline our efforts at resolving these issues through dialogue and resort to the application of force, we will come in same measure”.
Nana Yaw Opoku Danso, who is also the Assembly Member for the Kaiser Electoral Area, further alleged that the TMA was using deliberate and calculated attempts to deny them of revenue they could rake-in from business operating permits, property rates amongst others for the development of the Municipality.
When asked if some attempts had been made to petition the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development over the impasse to forestall similar clashes, he indicated that series of letters had been forwarded to the ministry but they were yet to get a response as an assembly.
Meanwhile, Mr Frank Asante, Public Relations Officer of the TMA responding to the issue, told the GNA that as sister assemblies, his outfit and the TWMA could have a roundtable discussion to find amicable solution to the management of the treatment plant.
Mr Asante explained that TMA was still managing the place due to technical and logistical capacities adding that it was only Metropolitan Assemblies that have Waste Management Departments charged with the responsibility of managing such installations including landfill sites.
He indicated that TMA due to its capacity was still managing the Kpone Landfill site even though it does not fall under its jurisdiction, noting that his outfit was also managing the central sewer system which communities two and five forms part of, even though they fall under TWMA.