African Governments urged to prioritise waste management

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UNDP

Governments in Africa have been urged to prioritise waste management to help the continent achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

UNDPThe global goal 12 includes targets focused on environmentally sound management of all waste through prevention, reduction, recycling and re-use.

Dr George Ortsin, the National Coordinator of the Global Small Grants Programme (GEF) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) who made the call highlighted the need for Africa to support innovative ideas and ventures that would provide solutions to plastic waste menace bedeviling the continent.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a waste management forum held at Bechem in the Tano South Municipality of the Ahafo Region, Dr. Ortsin said though plastic had enormous benefits, indiscriminate disposal and burning of plastic materials partly contributed to climate change.

Save Our Environment Foundation (SEF), an environmentally inclined non-governmental organisation (NGO) organised the forum, attended by school children, Assembly Members, traditional authorities and civil society actors.

The forum was in line with an integrated Community-Based Waste Management System project, being implemented by the NGO in the Municipality within 18 months.

With the US$33,000 UNDP GEF/SGP funding, the project aimed at building the capacity of households in the efficient collection of waste generated and design business models for degradable and non-degradable wastes.

Dr. Ortsin said Africa must be innovative to segregate plastic from solid waste for recycling, saying “uncontrolled burning of plastic waste by households were contributing to global warming.

Another way, he said could help Africa to manage her plastic waste for the government to remain committed, build innovations in children to recycle and use plastic waste for other useful purposes.

“In fact, the indiscriminate disposal of plastic waste and materials such as spoons, bowls and plastic bottles and bags are causing mess and nuisance in Ghana and we must all contribute to eradicating the menace to save the environment,” Dr. Ortsin added.

Throwing more light on the project, Mr Collins Osei, the Executive Director of SEF said his NGO was collaborating with other partners such as the Municipal Assembly, Zoomlion Ghana and other waste management enterprises and small farmer associations to implement the project.

Other collaborators include local communities and the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) at Fiapre in the Sunyani West Municipality.

Mr Osei therefore called for an establishment of a waste processing factory in the area, under the government’s One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) for waste recycling and management.
By Dennis Peprah, GNA

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