Collective efforts needed to manage e-waste

Ghanaians were entreated to support Caritas Ghana’s initiative to manage electronic waste in the country in order to curtail the toxic generated in the process and preserve our environment for future generation.

Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey, out-going Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd, made the appeal at the launch of the project in Accra and challenged Ghanaians to do their little best to save the earth from destruction.

He expressed worry about the way greed and avarice was driving people to destroy our water bodies and environment, stressing the need for all to work together to save it from further destruction.

Mr. Ashigbey, said the tag of Agblogbloshie as the dirtiest place on earth, was a great indictment on Ghana. How did we get there? How did we allow ourselves to get into this abyss? He questioned

Stating that Caritas Ghana was offering Ghanaians the chance to address the e-waste menace, the Managing Director said it was a good project that provide our people in rural and peri-urban areas access with clean water supply, as well as solar lamps for use.

He called for collective efforts to turn the tide around, in the proper management of electronic waste, whilst leveraging the gains to support the poor.

With the launch of the project, Caritas Ghana and its partners will focus on collecting, managing and selling e-waste by-products to curb the poison emitted into the environment, and support livelihoods of poor in the rural areas by providing clean water and renewable energy source.

Shedding more light on the project, Mr. Samuel Zan Akologo, Executive Secretary of Caritas Ghana and Department of Human Development of the National Catholic Secretariat(NCS), noted that his outfit will undertake advocacy for adequate policy response to “address looming health and environmental calamity of e-waste”.

He said Caritas Ghana will also embark on nation-wide public education ad sensitisation for behavioural and attitudinal change on disposal of e-waste, as well as set-up actual collection ccetres of e-waste for proper recycling.

To this end, Mr Akologo stated that Caritas Ghana and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) signed a Memorandum of Intention for Technical Support to build capacity of people to be engaged in the collection and recycling of e-waste.

Besides “a number of Companies, by their sponsorship of this programme and other on-going discussions, are willing to and have actually signaled their support for this cause” he stated.

By the project, the Executive Secretary declared the intention of Caritas Ghana, “to set-up the e-waste management as a social enterprise venture whereby the collection, management and sale of the by-products from e-waste will generate income to support other social needs of very deprived communities and the poor”.

He explained that proceeds of the sale of e-waste by-products would be used to purchase water purification systems for improved sanitation in rural and peri-urban communities for the poor and needy; particularly children and women, and to provide solar lamps for rural communities, without electricity which replaces harmful toxic fumes from kerosene lamps.

Mr Markus Spitzbart, Head of Programme, Sustainable Management and Disposal of E-Waste at the GIZ in Ghana, stated that the social recycling business that Caritas Ghana seeks to set-up will provide an ideal institutional and company framework, where eco-levies charged to the manufacturers and importers, could be used to ensure environmentally sound e-waste recycling.

He however, appealed to the Ghana Government to establish legal framework to ensure the proper working of the recycling fund.

At the launched, renowned Gospel Artiste Mary Ghansah, performed a song for the programme, that rallies support from people to embrace the call to save our environment from destruction.

Ambassador Kabral Blay Amihere, Chairman of the launch, urged Ghanaians to perform good works, by preserving our water bodies and protecting our environment.

Whilst commending Caritas Ghana for starting this initiatives, he challenged the media to join the campaign in promoting the enterprise, and appealed to the Government to reduce taxes on materials to be used in the production of filters for portable water and renewable energy sources.

Present at the functions were Very Fr. Lazarus Anondee, Secretary General of the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS), Rev. Frs. Wisdom Larweh, and Duiedonne K. Davor, Assistant Secretary General and the Executive Secretary of the Department of Social Communications respectively at the NCS, as well as sponsors and partners of the project.

By Kwesi Yirenkyi Boateng

Caritas Ghana

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