(Re)mapping garbage, the privatization of waste management in Accra, Ghana

by Demanya, Benoit Klenam

Abstract (Summary)
A major environmental problem is the lack of basic services in Third World cities. Hundreds of millions of people are living in overcrowded urban areas without adequate access to clean water, electncal supply. public transportation, sewerage, and sanitation services. The environmental implications of these deficiencies are exacerbated by urban sprawl. ground and surface water contamination, and air pollution. Thus, more Third World governrnents have, with the aid of international development agencies, resorted to seekinp heavy foreign investments in urban infrastructure. Pnvate sector participation, largely through foreign investment, in basic service delivery and infrastructure development is recent, and has accelerated dramatically in Third World cities, Ieading to the privatization of senrices in virtually every city in the developing world. The Ghanaian situation is no different. Private sector involvement in Accra's solid waste management was introduced in 1991, with only 'indigenous' private entrepreneurs then involved. However, in 1997 the government engaged the services of the Groupe Chagnon of Canada, a foreign private multinational Company. This thesis is an investigation of the private sector initiative in the management of solid waste in Accra, Ghana. It focuses on why the service came to be controlled by the private sector, and illustrates the implications for Accra's urban landscape. The work shows that the privatization of Accra's waste is dorninated by the Groupe Chagnon of Canada, and is nructured to benefit private interests by excluding the public. Even though the process in Acm has been hailed by the local goveniment authonties and some World Bank officiais as king efficient, this investigation indicates that this private sector arrangement has, in fact, done nothing that a revitalizedpublic sector courd not have accomplished with stncter adherence to the country's laws, as well as a rigorous enforcernent of the environmental regulations. ACmOwLmGEMEEJTS 1 wish first and foremost to thank the Almighty God for his blessings and =ace that have seen this work corne to fruition. 1 also wish to express my deep appreciation and indebtedness to Dr. Barry Riddell. my supervisor, who diligently and astutely guided me throuph the research. You have been a faithful and enduring editor, listener. and advisor. 1could not have asked for a more caring advisor. To you Barry, 1Say "Ayekoo" and God richly bless you. To al1 the people in Accra, Mr. N.A. -ah, Mr. G. Ewool, Miss. Moira Ewa, and the Waste Management Depanment staff, who proved invaluable with suggestions and guidance I Say a big thank you. This research could not have corne into being were it not for Dr. David McDonald, whose work in acquiring grants, and scripting the research plan was arnazing. His cornmitment and passion remain a great inspiration. Also. to Dr. John Holmes, 1Say thank you. 1 have been lucky to have you as a fnend and listener and for this 1am indeed very grateful. 1wish to acknowledge the Organix Foundation for their financial support without which this work would not have been possible. 1 also wish to acknowledge Mike Pacey for his excellent work in reproducing maps/figures for this work. Again, 1 register my heanfelt gratitude to Dr.Peter Arthur, Dr. Kobena Hanson, Ransford and Alberta Danso, Richard Amankwah, Louis Kwabena Anane, Elizabeth Archampong, Paul and Maureen Williams, Sheila MacDonald, Sharon Mohammed, Joan Knox, and Kathy Hoover for their incredible support and special fiiendship. √Ľod bless you ail. Furiher thanks go to Miss. Sarah Abaliwano for being such a true and byat friend. There are not many like you in this world and 1am indeed privileged to know you. To the 'Ghanaian Mafia' at Queen's 1Say thanks for al1 the laughs and the fun times, they really helped me through the tough and lonely times. Finally, there is no doubt that the moral spiritual and financial support of Axomam, Kekeli, MM., and al1 rny farnily were invaluable in helping me get through rny time here at Queen's. 1 thank you for believing in me. 1 love you. To my murn I Say thanks for al1 the sacrifices and prayea. You are the love of my life. In expressing my indebtedness, 1 do wish to state that 1 am, however, soleiy responsible for any errors or omissions that may be found in ihis thesis. Any such omissions are merely a reflection of my human limitations. Benoit Klenam Demanya Kingston, Ontario Canada August, 200 1 T' the Glory of the Lord God Almighg. who made ir ail possible.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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