Parliament moves to ascertain claims of dust pollution against new cement factory in Weija

The Parliament Select Committee on Environment Science and Technology has paid a working visit to Panbros Salt Industries and Empire Cement, a new cement factory being constructed along the Weija Road in order to provide oversight on environmental issues pertaining between the two bodies.

The visit by the MPs comes in the wake of a petition by Panbros Salt Industries to the Committee that the cement factory being constructed by Empire Cement has a potential to pollute their salt product.

Members of the Committee led by the Chairman, Dr Emmanuel Marfo, MP for Oforikrom constituency in the Ashanti Region, made the first stop at the Empire Cement and were met on arrival by Nana Obokomatta IX, a partner of the facility who engaged the Parliamentarians on a tour of the facility.

The next stop was at the Panbros Salt Industries, where the Parliamentarians were ushered in by the Managing Director, Michael Odartey Wellington, on a tour of their facility.

Parliament moves to ascertain claims of dust pollution against new cement factory in Weija

Addressing the media, the Chairman of the Committee underscored the importance of the visit that, as members of the Parliament Select Committee on Environment Science and Technology, it has the mandate to provide oversight of issues related to the environment.

“So we are here today to have a firsthand information as to whether the production of or bagging of cement if it so happens will have a potential disastrous effect on the salt and the neighborhood.

“Empire Cement and Panbros Salt have both taken us through their production process; we’ve asked questions and what is left are technical questions which require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Standards Board, Food and Drugs Authority to assist the committee with a technical briefing then the committee will finalise and take a decision which will be made public”.

“For now we have been told they only have a permit to do cement bag production but there is a process to do bagging of cement. What is in contention is whether they will get a permit to bag cement and EPA is the authority that gives the final permission. We’ve seen the distance between the two factories and it’ll also be factored during our technical discussion.

Speaking in an interview with the media, Managing Director of Panbros Salt Industries, Mr. Michael Odartey Wellington thanked the Parliamentarians for heeding to their call.

“We’re certain in our mind that the outcome will be good news to Ghanaians because we have kept insisting that a cement factory cannot be sited near a salt production because contamination will occur.

“Panbros Salt has been here as far back as 1958, feeding Ghanaians with edible salt as such, we cannot sit there to witness a situation where cement will be produced close to us, and we’re made to believe there’ll be a technology that will ensure no dust will be expelled into the atmosphere. It can never happen anywhere, and we’re yet to be convinced.”