In furtherance of its ambition to improve plastic waste management practices in Ghana, the Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE), has engaged stakeholders at a one-day workshop on the sustainable management of this resource.
At the workshop organized by the private sector coalition under the aegis of the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund with support from the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the coalition called on all stakeholders to re-think plastics, as just waste and begin to see it as a resource which has the potential to unlockenormous economic value for Ghana.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Seth Twum-Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer of the AGI, underscored private sector’s commitment towards the issue of plastic waste management in the country, itsshow of leadership with the formation of GRIPE and investment in solutions to tackle post-consumer waste of the plastic life cycle.
“Our member companies are very concerned about the littering issue because we live and operate in the communities; this is one of the reasons why we formed GRIPE to manage the environmental impact of plastics. GRIPE started very small, but we are gradually growing and moving towards achieving our objectives of contributing to increased recycling rates and improving plastic waste management practices in Ghana.”, he added.
He further stated that the journey towards ensuring that plastics become a resource of beneficial value to Ghanaians rather than banning it, will involve all stakeholders playing their part to create the much-needed circular environment in the country.
Naa Ayeleysa Quaynor-Mettle, a member of the GRIPE working group and Pick-It Project Manager for FanMilk,said the benefits of plastics to health, hygiene and quality of life has proven to be enormous accounting for the exponential growth in plastic use. Regrettably, sustainable management of post-consumer plastic remains a national challenge as only 2% of the estimated yearly generation, of over one million tonnes, is recycled.
“The problem Ghana faces is not a plastics problem but a littering problem. What GRIPE seeks to achieve is to stimulate a holistic solution to support the development of a robust circular economy and to promote recycling and second life for plastics here in Ghana”, she added.
Mr. Essuman, lecturer at the Department of Food Process Engineering, University of Ghana, in a presentation to participants noted that Ghana needs a 3-pronged solution to effectively deal with the plastic menace currently confronting it.
“As a country, in order to effectively deal with the plastics waste menace, we need to have technical & engineering solutions in place, a plastic waste management system anda behavioural & attitudinal change from all of us. I believe this is what GRIPE has started and it is my hope that with the necessary support from all stakeholders, we can
The Workshop which took place at the Bank of Ghana Auditorium, University of Ghana, brought together key stakeholders in the plastic value chain including Policymakers, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the Media, Academia, industry and Development partners.
Among others, it highlighted the current regulatory requirement on the use of oxo-biodegradable additives, the benefit of plastics to food safety, and the various second-life solutions that affirm post-consumer plastics as a beneficial resource the County can be harness.
Participants were also taken through the various interventions introduced by GRIPE including, collection schemes and the Modified Concrete Project currently being piloted by GRIPE. This pilot research project employs post-consumer plastic waste in the manufacture of concrete blocks. Scientific data generated from this project is expected to influence policy formulation, further research and/or replication in other parts of the country.
The GRIPE, a coalition of companies under the Association of Ghana Industries,was formed in November2017. The objective of GRIPE is to leverage the combined resources, experience and technologies of member companies to proffer sustainable plastic waste management solutions to the plastic waste challenge in Ghana. To this end, GRIPE focuses on areas such as multi-stakeholder collaboration, public education and awareness, research and data collection, and the provision of second life solutions to plastic waste. GRIPE is currently made up of 10 member companies namely
Universal Health Coverage: Why government partnership with NGOs is critical
The face of an exuberant Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki receiving a donation of 75 hospital beds from Kenya Connection Kids was an indications that non-governmental organisations are partners in the realisation of the Big Four agenda, and by extension the realisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Earlier, the Christian-based organisation had donated 20 wheelchairs, tables and chairs.
In Kisumu, the African Medical Research Foundation (Amref) launched partnership with the county government to ensure attainment of Universal Health Coverage.
In May, the Nairobi County Government partnered with I HOPE International, an American-based NGO, to offer free surgeries to 100 patients residing in the City. The free medical camp ran for 10 days at Mama Lucy Kibaki, Mbagathi and Pumwani hospitals and there were at least 10 specialist doctors to offer treatment.
But it is Njuki who seems to have discovered the potential partnership with NGOs to supplement meagre county resources in service delivery. On June 10, the county boss received a refurbished maternal facility from Safaricom Foundation.
Evidently, the governments needs support from the private sector for effective service delivery. Suffice it to say that the government, the corporate sector and the voluntary sectors are distinct yet interdependent actors in development process.
One of the key outcomes of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development at the Fourth High Level Forum held in Busan, South Korea in 2011, was the recognition by governments, multilateral and bilateral agencies of civil society organisations as independent actors in development and governance processes.
It is in this context that partnerships between the international and local NGOs with the county governments of Tharaka Nithi, Kisumu and Nairobi in the provision of health services should be understood.
And in order for NGOs to play this part, there ought to be policy, legal and regulatory framework that creates and continually contributes to the realisation of an enabling operational environment for the sector to execute its mandate. This has, unfortunately been lacking in Kenya in recent years.
The delay by the National government to operationalise the Public Benefit Organisations Act has put on hold the immense potential of the law to make Kenya the destination of choice for local and international organisations that may want to invest in the country. Kenya has immense potential to attract international NGOs and their huge social investments.
The country’s highly educated workforce, mobile telephony penetration and massive investments in infrastructure make Kenya the most ideal place for international NGOs that may want to set up regional headquarters in Africa to strategically intervene in humanitarian situations in the Horn and Great Lakes Region of Africa.
In light of this, commencement of the Public Benefit Organisations Act that has been abeyance for six years will go a long way in ensuring Kenya is the destination of choice for NGOs. – The writer is the presiding convener of the Civil Society Reference Group. —
Article first published on http://www.mediamaxnetwork.co.ke/people-daily/why-government-partnership-with-ngos-is-critical-533679/
Sahara Group Boots Climate Protection With Project #Greenlife
Lagos: June 21, 2019 – Are you living the #GreenLife? The answer to this question holds the key to the survival of almost 8 billion humans who reside on the planet that are faced with colossal environmental challenges. Regardless of the growing debates on how much danger climate change portends, or if it is merely some creation of doomsday prophets, Sahara Group believes a firm commitment to protecting our plant sustainably, should resonate with all who call Earth home.
Sahara Group’s commitment has inspired the adoption of the #GreenLife project which seeks to galvanise action towards tackling climate change through collaboration, recycling, capacity building, awareness raising as well as investment in clean, affordable and sustainable energy.
Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate, such as temperature, wind, and precipitation (rainfall and snow). These changes are caused by many factors including human activities like cutting down trees and burning fossil fuels that result in increased air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The effects of climate change can last for decades or longer.
“Climate Change is one of the most pivotal issues of our time and we are at a critical point. All across the world there are changes to our weather patterns that threaten food production, are leading to alarming rises in sea levels that pose the risk of life threatening and disastrous floods as well as soil erosion due to climate-induced flooding,” said Pearl Uzokwe, Sahara Group’s Director of Governance and Sustainability.
According to her, the situation would require immediate attention and a multi-faceted approach that “gives every occupant of planet earth a good shot at healthy living and the opportunity to create a healthier planet to sustainably support all forms of life.”
Uzokwe said Sahara Group’s #GreenLife project would involve recycling to promote a circular economy, upcycling, sustainable training, recycling for mother and child care, and access to clean energy initiatives.
“At Sahara Group, we have commenced an extensive recycling programme at our various offices as well as certain communities we operate within to drive environmental protection. We will be commencing with the recycling of paper, plastic and aluminum in our offices. Our aim is to promote a circular economy aimed at minimising waste and making the most of our resources. For environmental sustainability, the recycled waste collected will be converted into fibre, tissue paper and PET pellets for continued use.”
The Upcycling project will focus on the collection of discarded tyres creative remodelling into sustainable eco-friendly products such as ergonomically designed chairs for schools in the energy conglomerate’s host communities. The Joraf Gate school in Ijora, Lagos, Nigeria will be the first beneficiary of this upcycling project.
“In addition to spearheading the collection of materials for upcycling, Sahara Group, working in collaboration with several partners including Pearl Recycling will train indigenes of our host community in Ijora to upcycle waste products such as tyres and convert them into furniture, equip them with tools and set them on a path to sustainably train others in the community including students in a manner that helps tackle climate change whilst providing economic empowerment,” Uzokwe explained.
The Recycling for Mother and Child Care activity will focus on partnerships with healthcare providers and local community schools to offer maternal and child care in exchange for plastic collected by the beneficiaries. “Our primary focus will be on ensuring that the pupils at designated schools are given the option to offset the cost of all vaccinations up to the age of 5 and that mothers are offered credit to offset ante-natal care in exchange for plastic collected. We are hopeful that the pilot project in Nigeria will become a template for replicating other interventions across Africa.”
– Sahara Group
South Africa and climate change – it’s time to adapt
SRK’s Environmental scientists, Estie Retief and Ashleigh Maritz. Photography by Jeremy Glyn for SRK in May 2019.
JOHANNESBURG – Adapting to climate change is about to become much closer to home for South African businesses – as the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) initiates moves aimed at making the country more resilient.
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