This one stretch of road is responsible for increased health cases in the area and businesses are failing
But for the heavy trucks and other vehicles plying the untarred roads, rendering homes and shops dusty and dirty, Teshie Old Fertilizer would have been a beautiful community.
Houses and shops, which hitherto were white or yellow in colour, now appear brownish and dirty. Faces of residents are stained with dust, especially their hair, eye lids and the hair in their noses.
Kojo Yankah is a 70 year old pensioner who has been living at Old fertilizer for the past 17 years. Like the many others here, he has had his fair share of the dust distribution. His white house is now brown and surface of every item in his room is without dust.
“That is the problem we face in this area, because the road has never been tarred. So we have lived with dust, smell, stench and all kinds of things that you can imagine. The dust has increased because of the bigger trucks and the frequency with which the trucks visit Zompak site has been phenomenal. If anything, I would have wished that they tarred the road for us”. He complained
Due to the dust in the neighborhood Yankah who already has a sinus problem has seen his health deteriorate even further. Thousands of cedis he said have been spent treating his sickness.
“I have been allergic to dust ever since I was born. Every now and then I got to the hospital. And this situation has aggravated the whole thing. I've been sneezing a lot because of the dust. I thought it will taper off with time, because when you are growing the illness you have should taper off with time. But when I came to live here, it has persisted,” he said.
Businesses in this area are also not having a field's day at all due to the dusty nature of the road.
Raphael Narh is a bar attendant who has been living in the area for the past 20 years. Standing in front of his shop with drinks and other provisions coated with thick dust, he complained to me how the situation is having a toll on his business.
“As you can see, some of my things are very dirty. I have to clean them frequently. It makes me lose customers a lot. Once they sit down to drink, one truck just speeds by, and that is the end. Then they will say they are going to another place to drink. It has not been easy for me at all.”
I am always buying drugs here and there. You are so healthy and the next minute, you have flu. Sometimes, I cough seriously. I even see dust in my phlegm,” he said.
For Doris Akoto, the seamstress said "because of the big trucks, the clothes I work on frequently gets dirty. Government promised repairing the road for us when Zompak was established, but we have not seen any result since. We don't know if they will do it or not."
The dust situation has undoubtedly been worsened by the activities of Zompak Composite Plant.
Operations manager of the site, Mustapha Zayreck said they are currently in talks with government and Zoomlion to fix the road soon.
“Zoomlion is doing everything about the situation, and as a company, we will continue to support them. For us, we are trying everything to solve the problem. We won't stop. For example, we are trying to plant about ten trees on the road. And such specification trees will absorb dust. And we are selecting which trees absorb the dust. We also plan on watering some of the road. Unfortunately, we can't water all the roads in the area”, he added.
Meanwhile, assemblyman for the area, Mr. Godfrey Chaucer-Hammond said he approached Zompak during his campaign season and they promised to collaborate with whoever wins to solve the problem.
Until that is done residents here have no choice but to continue to live with the dust.