RESIDENTS OF Willow Court, Kuntuse, in the Ga West District, have intensified their call on the government to relocate Happy Sunshine Company, a tomato paste factory, situated at the place.
According to the residents, the activities of the factory have caused problems on their health and safety.
Some of the residents complain that they have suffered serious respiratory problems due to the smoke from the factory, as well as the noise and traffic issues.
Speaking to the DAILY HERITAGE while a town hall meeting among stakeholders was going on, Mr Emmanuel Fiagbenu, president, Willow Court Residents Association, argued that the location of the tomato paste factory was illegal, hence the need for them to relocate.
Mr Fiagbenu complained about the closeness of the factory to their residences, adding that “we just can’t imagine to be living with a factory right in the heart of a residential area.”
As part of measures to address the row between the residents and owners of the factory, the government has set up an independent body to investigate the issue and suggest the possible measures to ensure peace in the area.
The panels of the independent body were made up of officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Labour Commission.
In view of this, Mr Fiagbenu pleaded with the panel to come up with a decision which will be satisfactory for both parties, as well as to protect the environment.
“If they come up with recommendations for remedies to ease the problem, then we will inspect to see that those remedies have been put in place.
“We will also assess and see how that will have impact on us as residents. We will see if we will be better off when these measures are put in place,” he said.
He added that, “the EPA and the Ministry of Environment are the ones to protect us so we are looking at them and hope they will come with the best solutions for both parties.”
Mr Fiagbenu further indicated that the residents were not against the establishment of the factory, but rather their activities, which has “brought problems to the residents.”
“Whatever you have spent money to do, if it is not right, then it’s not right. We should get the fundamentals right and not to put money in things that are not right,” he told the paper.
Also speaking at the town hall meeting, Mr Quinton Liu, representative of Happy Sunshine Company Limited, pleaded with the authorities to give them some time to address all the challenges.
According to Mr Liu, the factory is undergoing a pilot operation, and is ready to put in measures to address the claims by the residents.
“Since they started complaining about the problem, we tried to put some measures in place address it. However, we can agree that it’s not enough and we are ready to eradicate the problem completely,” he explained.
The panel is, however, expected to present their suggestion in a couple of weeks to help broker peace in the area.