Aboboyaa apocalypse: Effia-Kwesimintsim’s toxic tricycle tragedy

In the bustling streets of Effia-Kwesimintsim, a municipal assembly in Ghana’s Western Region, an environmental crisis is unfolding right before our eyes. The culprit? The humble tricycle, locally known as “Aboboyaa,” which has become an unlikely protagonist in a tale of urban decay and public health hazards. These three-wheeled menaces, originally designed for transportation, have been repurposed as makeshift waste collection vehicles, leaving in their wake a trail of stench, filth, and growing concern among residents.

Picture this: A sweltering afternoon in Effia-Kwesimintsim, the air thick with humidity and the promise of rain. Suddenly, the quiet is shattered by the sputtering engine of an approaching Aboboyaa. But instead of carrying passengers or goods, this tricycle bears a more sinister cargo – mounds of household waste precariously piled high, threatening to spill onto the streets at any moment. As it rumbles past, a nauseating odour assaults the senses, forcing pedestrians to cover their noses and hurry along, their faces contorted in disgust.

This scene, once an anomaly, has become a daily occurrence in the Effia-Kwesimintsim municipality. The use of Aboboyaa for waste collection, while perhaps born out of necessity or misguided innovation, has spiralled into an environmental and public health catastrophe that demands immediate attention and action.

The dangers posed by this haphazard waste management system are manifold and far-reaching. First and foremost is the obvious threat to public health. As these open-air waste carriers trundle through Kwesmintsim, Assakae, Adientem, Anaji, and Effiakuma, they become mobile incubators for disease-carrying organisms. Flies, attracted by the exposed refuse, swarm around the ‘Aboboyaas’, then disperse to nearby homes and food establishments, potentially spreading pathogens that cause cholera, typhoid, and other gastrointestinal illnesses.

The environmental impact of this practice is equally alarming. With each bump and turn, bits of trash escape from the overloaded tricycles, littering our streets and clogging our drainage systems. During heavy rains, this scattered waste is washed into the gutters, creating congestion, and ultimately contributing to flooding in some parts of the municipality.

The aesthetic damage to the municipality cannot be overstated. Once known for, at least, some sort of cleanliness and orderly appearance, Effia Kwesimintsim now bears the unsightly scars of this ill-conceived waste management strategy. Piles of garbage dot our street corners, attracting vermin and creating eyesores that diminish property values and discourage tourism. The pervasive stench that hangs in the air is a constant reminder of the environmental degradation taking place under our very noses.

But perhaps the most insidious effect of the Aboboyaa waste collection system is its impact on our collective psyche. As we become accustomed to the sight of overflowing tricycles and litter-strewn streets, we risk normalizing this environmental negligence. Our children, growing up in this polluted landscape, may come to accept it as the status quo, perpetuating a cycle of apathy towards environmental stewardship.

While it’s easy to point fingers at the authorities, we must also turn our gaze inward and confront an uncomfortable truth: the complicity of our own community in perpetuating this environmental nightmare. A significant number of residents in Effia-Kwesimintsim continue to patronize these Aboboyaa waste collectors, viewing them as a cheap and convenient option for disposing of their household refuse. This misguided frugality comes at an exorbitant cost to our collective well-being and the future of our municipality.

To those who still rely on these tricycle trash carriers, we must ask: At what price does your convenience come? The few cedis saved by opting for this substandard service pale in comparison to the long-term costs we all bear – in healthcare expenses, environmental degradation, and the tarnishing of our EKMA’s reputation.

The shortsightedness of supporting this makeshift waste management system is astounding. By patronizing the Aboboyaas, we are effectively voting with our wallets for the continued desecration of our streets and the poisoning of our air. We are choosing immediate gratification over the long-term health and prosperity of our neighbours, our children, and ourselves.

We must call out this behaviour for what it is: a dereliction of civic duty and a betrayal of community values. Those who continue to use Aboboyaas for waste disposal are not innocent bystanders in this environmental crisis; they are active participants, fueling a system that threatens the very fabric of our society.

To these individuals, we say: Your actions have consequences far beyond your doorstep. The stench that permeates our streets, the litter that clogs our gutters, and the diseases that threaten our children – all of these can be traced back to your decision to prioritize personal convenience over communal welfare.

By supporting this informal and unregulated waste collection system, you are undermining efforts to establish proper, sustainable waste management in our municipality. Your patronage of Aboboyaa creates a disincentive for local authorities to invest in modern, hygienic waste collection vehicles and infrastructure. In essence, you are mortgaging EKMA’s future for a pittance of present-day savings.

We call upon all residents of Effia-Kwesimintsim to boycott the Aboboyaa waste collection service immediately. Instead, demand proper waste management from our local authorities. If the current systems are inadequate or too expensive, let us organize and lobby for better solutions. Form community waste management cooperatives, let us pool resources to hire licensed waste collection services, or pressure local officials to subsidize proper waste disposal for low-income households.

It is high time our municipal authorities woke up and smelled the rotting garbage. The Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly must take immediate and decisive action to address this crisis. We call upon our elected officials to implement a proper waste management system with dedicated, covered trash trucks that can safely and hygienically transport our community’s waste.

The time for action is now. We cannot afford to wait as our streets drown in filth and our children’s futures are jeopardized by environmental neglect. The Aboboyaa waste collection system is not a solution; it is a ticking time bomb for public health and environmental disasters.

Let us be clear: those who continue to use Aboboyaa for waste disposal are not just part of the problem – they are actively choosing to be the problem. It’s time to make a different choice.


Jet Alan is based in Takoradi. Email: jet.alancash42@gmail.com

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You might also like