The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has called for a multi-stakeholder approach, to rid the community of Odorkor Maclean of all insecticide production units to save lives as well as protect the health of thousands of residents.
The community, located off the Kaneshie-Mallam stretch and within the Okaikoi South Municipal Assembly of the Greater Accra region, houses over 30 unlicensed and unapproved insecticide manufacturing units, housed in unlabeled kiosks.
Speaking to Citi Business News after a weekend swoop to halt the activities of the insecticide manufacturers, the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo said early action needs to be taken to protect civilians in the neighborhood.
“The quantity of harmful chemicals we have seen and their potential to cause harm and death should they be mixed with wrong products will blow your minds. The resident think the chemicals only kill mice and rats, but they are wrong. A constant exposure to these chemicals can increase the risk of cancers as well as different types of respiratory issues.”
Mr. Dodoo also bemoaned the institutional lapses that have allowed for the flourishing of such harmful businesses at Maclean, a suburb of Odorkor and other communities across the country.
“You should not have a factory until the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given you the relevant licenses. From both the GSA and the FDA we know for a fact that these outfits did not approach us showing that their operations are criminal and must be stopped. For me, the current situation reflects a serious weakness across too many chains.”
GSA shuts down illegal insecticide company in Odorkor
The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) on Friday closed down another insecticide manufacturing company in Odorkor within the Okaikoi South Municipal Assembly of the Greater Accra region for operating without a license.
The action follows complaints from residents who raised concerns over the health implications of the stench and the indiscriminate disposal of their waste.
A team led by the Business Development Manager of the GSA, George Anti, seized samples of the insecticides and other packaging materials on site.
Among the initial charges were that some of the products had the GSA mark of conformity and labelling that had not been duly approved.
Two persons, who identified as caretakers for the shop, were arrested as the original owners of the place were not available upon the team’s visit.
In an interview with Citi Business News on the surveillance which prompted Friday’s action, George Anti said the Authority acted in a resolute manner with the enforcement of its laws.
“We have received several complaints from residents in the area of incessant fumes that they are constantly inhaling as a result of this manufacturing that is going on here. These things pose a major health risk to the public,” he remarked.
He added: “The manufacturing is not even being done in accordance with the laid down procedure and clearly they’re printing labels and misleading the public as though they have gone through the right processes but they haven’t.”
The production site, situated in a relatively congested neighborhood, was also close to the preparation and packaging of delicacies like plantain chips.
Residents will not readily divulge any information to the task force.
But some of the products that were found on site were NOPEST, Teacher Power, Two Brothers disinfectants, and other unused packets of paper and adhesive glue or starch.
George Anti further intimated that all those found culpable will be prosecuted according to law.
“After today, clearly there is no law that will allow this kind of manufacturing to take place in such a densely populated residential area. So their business cannot continue at the premises where they are located presently…Before we get to the discussions on corrective measures, they are falling foul of the law and they must be sanctioned and we will do that right away,” he emphasized.