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EPA must check operations of Pioneer Foods – Chief Fisherman

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EPAThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been called upon to urgently check and monitor the production of fish meal by the Pioneer Food Cannery Limited (PFC).

Nii Odametey II, Chief Fisherman of Tema Awudum, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the company’s fish meal production was emitting an unbearable stench in the town especially the European Market located near the PFC.

Nii Odametey stated that the stench was so powerful that traders at the market sometimes throw up while buyers have refused to patronize their wares.

He added that the chimney of the plant was not high enough thus directing the dark smoke emanating from into the community.

The Chief fisherman said even though he has reported the issue to PFC management, nothing has been done about the situation therefore the need for EPA to step in.

“Management of PFC must know that they can’t hold us to ransom”, Nii Odametey added.

Mr Jacob Tettenh A yin, Head of Quality Health Safety Security and Environment  (QHSSE) at PFC, told the Ghana News Agency in a reaction that he was surprised about the claims of the community.

Mr Ayin said his outfit has established a relationship with the community led by Nii Odametey for such complaints to reach the company but was yet to receive any report from them over about one year now.

He observed that about four years ago, when the fish meal plant commenced, PFC had some challenges especially with breakdown of equipment leading to the carting of the fish waste from the premises to other companies in Tema.

He explained that when such companies were also not in the position to store and process the fish carcass, they resort to dumping it at the landfill site at Kpone.

The plant, he said, has been stable for about a year now and carting of the fish waste has been improved with the introduction of leak proof bins with covers leading to a stench free plant and community.

Mr A yin noted that the necessary documentation including the Food and Drugs Authority and the EPA has been acquired for the plant which process between 60 to 70 metric tonnes of fish waste daily.

He stated that even though the proximity of the plant to the community and commercial activities was not ideal, the plant could not be relocated due to access to fish which is its raw material.

Source: GNA

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