– Raymond Tetteh, ACCRA
IN line with its commitment to tackle electronic waste head on, government is to establish a state-of-the-art recycling plant at Agbogbloshie in Accra. Construction is to begin in April, this year.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who dropped this hint in the 2019 State of the Nation Address delivered to Parliament recently, said setting up the recycling facility would not only help solve the problem of waste disposal in an environmentally friendly manner but will lead to the creation of over 20,000 direct jobs, through the establishment of associated holding centres in each regional capital and collection centres in each district.
He said it was in this direction that, sometime last year, he launched
With an estimated 40 to 50 million tonnes of e-waste generated annually, e-waste has become a major global problem
the National E-waste Programme to mark the commencement of two key provisions of the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act, Act 917, “to empower the External Service Provider (SGS) to verify, assess and collect the advance recycle eco fee on all electrical and electronic equipment from all exporting countries”.
With an estimated 40 to 50 million tonnes of e-waste generated annually, e-waste has become a major global problem, and one of the top environmental challenges of the 21st century – Ghana being no exception.
Used electronic and electrical equipment imported into the country continues to be the major source of worry to the nation, as many have not been tested for functionality, and in contravention of regional and international laws, such as the Bamako Convention, the Basel Convention, and EU e-waste shipment regulations.
The waste, once cleared from the port, goes straight to Agbogbloshie, the unofficial hub for all things e-waste.These include televisions, personal computers, and household appliances, causing numerous health hazards and stalling the country’s development.
President Akufo-Addo said he was confident that “we are about to see an end to this global environmental challenge in Ghana, that is fast becoming a national security threat to most governments on the continent”, adding that the recycling facility would not be a stand-alone entity, as there is a component of the project that would support the establishment of a network of collection centres to provide a continuous supply of raw material to sustain the operations of the facility.
The President also pointed out that a cursory look around the cities and towns showed that plastic filth was the biggest problem and that the country would solve this problem through the internationally recognized priorities of waste: reduction first, followed by reuse, recycle, recovery and lastly disposal, which is to be avoided whenever possible.
Plastics Management Polices.
He said government had prepared a Plastics Management Policy, with the overarching aim of meeting the challenges of comprehensive plastics management.
He said about 82 per cent of Ghana’s plastic waste could be readily recovered and recycled with existing technologies into value-addition products for use within Ghana and the West African sub region.
“A vibrant recycling industry in Ghana could recover nearly one million tonnes of waste plastics from the environment and landfills annually, to be recycled into basic-need products valued at GH¢2 billion per year, creating many jobs across the economy,” the President said.
“Currently, extensive discussions are being concluded with investors on the most sustainable options available to rid Ghana of this plastic filth menace.”
President Akufo-Addo said it was unfortunate that in 2019 the country still had to revisit the issue of open defecation.
“Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that, in 2019, we still have to revisit this topic, but, open defecation cannot be a characteristic of a country that is working to be transformed economically and to be counted amongst the developed nations of the world. That is why it is absolutely imperative that we make a success of our One House-One-Toilet Policy.”
President Akufo-Addo said the Community Led Total Sanitation Programme (CLTSP) is being implemented in over 4,500 communities in 130 districts to achieve Open Defecation Free Communities.
He pointed out that no matter how attractive the geography or the history of our country might be, some of our poor sanitation habits could put off any visitor from visiting our country, adding that “the cost of clearing and cleaning up our cities and towns after those who litter has become prohibitive”.
The President was of the view that public resources must be channeled into ventures that generate wealth, and not spent on avoidable expenditures. He, therefore, urged all Ghanaians to make a special effort to improve our sanitation habits.