President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 cut tape to unveil some waste and disinfection trucks secured by Zoomlion Ghana, at a ceremony at the Independence Square.
Following this development, several national newspapers have quoted conflicting figures on their front-page headlines causing social media uproar over the exact numbers of trucks the President unveiled.
The state publishing houses, including the Daily Graphic and Ghanaian Times, who also covered the ceremony to commission the trucks also provided different figures in their front-page headlines.
While the Daily Graphic reported 126 trucks in its headline, with a breakdown of 101 waste management trucks and 25 disinfection trucks, the Ghanaian Times newspaper quoted 500 trucks in its publication.
The Daily Guide newspaper also reported the number of the waste trucks unveiled to be 101 whereas The Ghanaian Publisher reported 100 waste trucks with 400 more expected.
How Many Trucks Were Really Unveiled?
Listening to the speeches of the President and the Chief Executive of Jospong Group of Companies at the event, we identified where the confusion possibly started.
The President Akufo-Addo in his speech said 101 waste management trucks and 25 disinfection trucks were being unveiled.
“The procurement of these 101 waste management trucks by Zoomlion Ghana Limited will augment the existing fleet of vehicles to improve waste collection and transportation in the country. These are the first batch of 500 trucks that are being procured to assist in the sector,” the President said. (5:20 – 5:49).
He added that “it is my pleasure to unveil the initial 101 new waste management trucks and 25 disinfection trucks.”
In his speech, however, the Chief Executive of Jospong Group of Companies, operators of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Joseph Siaw Agyepong, mentioned the commissioning of 500 trucks.
“Today we are here to commission and unveil 500 trucks…” he said (12: 53 – 13:00).
Further checks with other platforms showed that 101 waste management trucks and 25 disinfection trucks were unveiled.
The official website of the Presidency of Ghana, and according to a statement from the Communication Bureau, 101 waste management trucks and 25 disinfection trucks secured by Zoomlion Ghana Ltd were unveiled.
“The trucks, according to President Akufo-Addo, are going to be used to cart waste from our business districts and communities to landfill sites and waste treatment facilities and help in the ongoing disinfection exercises of spaces and institutions that have been rolled out since the onset of COVID-19,” the communication indicated.
We also checked the President’s personal verified Facebook account which confirmed the earlier statement that 101 waste management trucks and 25 disinfection trucks secured by Zoomlion Ghana Limited were unveiled. It, however, indicated further that “these are the first batch of five hundred (500) trucks that are being procured to assist in the sanitation sector.”
Meanwhile, the verified Twitter handle of the Ghana Presidency said the government had partnered Zoomlion Ltd “to reinforce our waste collection system with 500 new modern trucks.”
Also, checks on the verified Facebook account of Zoomlion Ghana Limited stated that “A first batch of 500 trucks have been commissioned to continue our efforts in tackling waste management in the country.”
For the record, both the websites of the Ministry of Sanitation & Water Resources and Zoomlion Ghana at the time of fact-checking this claim had not posted any information on the event which took place a day ago.
With all the available facts we can sufficiently conclude that the President commissioned 101 waste trucks and 25 disinfection trucks. This brings the total trucks to 126. These are the first batch of 500 trucks procured by Zoomlion Ghana Limited through its partnership with the government of Ghana.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship in partnership with The Business and Financial Times Newspaper to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.