The Empire Cement Factory (ECF) in Ghana is coming under pressure from local residents who claim the company is failing to adhere to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) directive to cease operations.
According to The Ghanaian Times, instead of halting operations, the plant is believed to have started production of cement “at an alarming and accelerated speed,” said Eddie Quaynor, chairman of the McCarthy Hill Residents’ Association in Accra. Three silos are believed to have been installed on the plant’s site, fuelling concerns that the plant is producing and bagging cement, rather than, as ECF claims, just producing paper bags for cement.
A letter was reportedly sent to ECF on 26 March 2021 directing the company to stop all construction activity until an approval was granted by the EPA. The residents’ main concern is the impact on their health from the plant’s operations.
“It is inconceivable that the EPA was unable to enforce the law in this matter. It is also now clear to us that the EPA does not have stringent financial sanctions to impose on the ECF. The lack of tough punitive measures enabled Empire Cement to disregard the EPA’s order to cease operations and continued to work unabated. Laws aimed at strengthening the powers of the EPA to impose stiffer penalties must be enacted,” said Mr Quaynor.
He also called on Ghanaians to stand up against foreign agents and businesses who attempt to destroy communities in the country in the name of development. “We must use all legal methods and means at our disposal to protect our communities and we should not shy away from doing the right thing even if it may be uncomfortable,” he added.
Published under Cement News