GHANAIAN PLATFORM LAUNCHED TO STOP THE WASTE PROBLEM

Image of waste in gutter Ghana

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a new initiative to promote waste recovery in Ghana, through the creation of a digital and one-stop shop solutions platform that will connect all stakeholders along the waste management chain. In many countries, plastic bags are being banished, among which Kenya. With this initiative,Ghana is starting to take its growing waste problem seriously as well.

The “Multi-Stakeholder Waste Resource Platform” initiative will facilitate investment and access to market, fill data gaps, build capacity of local government operators, raise visibility of service providers in the private sector, and increase awareness across society on the importance of sustainable waste management. In the medium and long term, it is envisaged that the digital platform will provide ready and consistent data that will serve as a basis for economic and policy decisions on waste management and resource recovery. In addition, the initiative will launch a national competition to provide technical and financial support to few projects that will test innovative waste recovery solutions.

Stakeholders collaborate

The inception workshop brought together more than hundred participants from the waste management sector in Ghana. These include representations from government, private sector (recyclers, plastic manufacturers, waste collection associations and companies), academia, NGOs and media. The participants lauded the initiative and pledged to collaborate with UNDP to co-design the platform and its features (such as a mobile app), in what is going to be a continuously evolving and iterative process.

Valuable resource for economic development

Speaking at the inception workshop, Ms Gita Honwana Welch, UNDP Country Director emphasized the importance of effective waste management for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and encouraged stakeholders to view waste as a resource that present opportunities for economic development, job creation and technological innovation. We call on you to partner with us and start a journey that will see us working together in the coming months to co-design tools and solutions […] as we continuously think through the deliverables of this initiative to ensure that they adequately meet the expectation of all stakeholders, and offer the country the best way forward for waste recovery, in line with the national development agenda, Ms Welch stated.

Taking baskets to the market

Mr Desmond Appiah, Chief Sustainability and Resilience Advisor at Accra AMA, said that, as part of the effort to cut off waste materials in the country, the government of Ghana has instituted Sanitation Court to deal with people who throw waste plastics and rubbers on the ground. Speaking in a conference organized by United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) in Accra, AMA said to have has provided waste bins across the streets of Accra. If people refuse to put waste plastics into the dustbins, sanitation volunteers will take you to court. Dr. Dzidzo Yirenya-Tawiah, lecturer, Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies at University of Ghana also advised Ghanaians to stop using plastic plastics for their daily activities. She says, the country should go back to olden days where our parents and grandparents used baskets to buy items when going to market.

Enthusiastic Ministry and NGO

Mr Oliver Boachie, Special Advisor to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, stated that the Ministry is fully committed to ensuring the success of this initiative, which clearly contributes to our policies and plans, like the National Plastics Management Policy currently being developed. Similarly, Ms Kate Opoku, Country Leader of the NGO “Let’s Do it Ghana”, expressed excitement: We are grateful to UNDP for coming up with this great initiative, that I believe will connect all of us in the waste sector to share ideas to enhance synergy.

Story by Bright Boadi, a journalist from Hot FM in Accra. Image by Noahalorwor under Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. The reason for publishing this story is to inform people about the challenges communities face on the local level. This multi-stakeholder approach by UNDP will involve and affect local waste management efforts. Since this is a website for local news and community development in the rural area of Ghana, it fits the scope of communitywatchdoggh.com.

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