Financial Solution For Scrap Dealers

The problems encountered by scrap dealers in accessing funding to expand their businesses would be a thing of the past with the launch of the Solid Waste Business project in Accra. Solid Waste Business (SOWBIZ) project is being carried out by the African Aurora Business Network in collaboration with CHF International and the Ga Mashie Center For Educational and Environmental Development (GACEED). The project aims to provide financial literacy training and assist over 200 scrap dealers to access credit from financial institutions. SOWBIZ would also lead to the creation 425 intermediaries in the value chain who deal with ferrous metal or e-waste. To kick-start the project, a team from Africa Aurora Business Network and the other partners last week organized a health and safety training programme for 400 young scrap dealers and 50 association leaders at Galaway, near the Agbogbloshie market in Accra. Chief Awal Salifu, Chairman of the Ghana Scrap Dealers Youth Association, Accra branch, said they have a total membership of over 2000 who collect and buy pure iron, cast iron, steel and other metals from households and organisations. �Our work involves a lot of hazards as we can easily sustain cuts from the metals and this will easily lead to tetanus.� On daily basis, he said they supply about thousand tonnes of scrap to steel companies operating in various parts of the country for the production of iron rod. However, he noted that the scrap dealers are faced with the challenge of accessing funds from the various commercial banks. �Many of us try to go to the banks hoping to get business financing but because most of the banks do not understand the recycled scrap metal business well and do not have the right solutions for the industry. Furthermore, getting bank financing in Ghana is difficult since most financial institutions demand collateral before accessing a loan. Mr Awal explained that the scrap dealers require a substantial amount of money to buy the metal and other waste from the original owners and also spend money in conveying the scrap to their collection points. They were later assured by the First Allied Savings and Loans Limited of the much needed financial assistance. Maureen Odoi, Programmes Coordinator of Africa Aurora Business Network told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE in an interview that the scrap dealers contributed to the economic development of the country. �These unskilled people collect specific waste metal which they break, bulk and sell. It is one organized system and they are producing a useful resource which would have become waste without their efforts.� �They are doing a good job, they are uninformed as they operate without much knowledge and they must be regulated and trained as well as encouraged to form associations, she said.