The Green Africa Youth Organisation (GAYO) has celebrated the 2021 World Cities Day the first of its kind in Ghana with a launch of a “Zero Waste Strategy: Ghana” to promote sustainable cities in the country.
The United Nations has designated 31st October every year to mark the Day to raise awareness on sustainable urbanization and the theme for this year’s celebration is “Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience.”
It was organised in collaboration with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the La-Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA).
They signed a memorandum of understanding to implement a two-year Waste Management Strategy to improve waste collection in LaDMA.
Mr Desmond Alugnoa, Programmes Manager and Co-founder of GAYO who launched the strategy said waste management challenge in Ghana, and across many sub-Saharan African countries, remained uphill while city authorities in Ghana were struggling to keep up with the pace of urban expansion.
“This is evident in the inability to render sustainable waste management services across cities, a challenge that has diverse implications for our population and natural environment. Waste management is an issue that traverses the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of the country and finding a lasting solution is critical now more than ever,” he said.
Mr Alugnoa noted that Zero waste opens up the waste management sector to jobs in waste collection, waste sorting, waste recycling, the production of green goods and services and many more.
He said the GAYO as a youth-led non-profit organisation in the waste management and environmental sustainability has worked with several local assemblies and stakeholders in the sector over the past few years.
“This has enabled us to gain a thorough understanding of the waste management problem in the country as well as identify the many opportunities that exist in terms of job creation for youth and women and sound environmental management, among others,” he stated.
He said the organisation’s Sustainable Communities Project, which was piloted in New Edubiase has since been replicated in communities in Cape Coast, Kumasi, and Accra and they have been the key reference points in this regard.
“It is therefore our pride to outdoor this document, The Zero Waste Strategy: Ghana. The document outlines what zero waste is, and demonstrates how it can be implemented in municipalities and communities across Ghana with many case studies of good practices and examples,
Mr Solomon Kotey Nikoi, the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Chief Executive in an address read on his behalf said the idea behind the partnership with GAYO was to create the process that all forms of waste generated could be reused.
“With this mindset the players in the waste value chain will be able to know how they will properly manage their waste. Our ultimate goal is to be able to recycle about 70 per cent plastic waste and 30 per cent of organic waste generated within the two years period of the partnership,” he stated.
Mr Nikoi said as the Assembly celebrated the Day it would focus on the triple bottom line, which took into consideration social, economic and environmental impact in the scheme of plan for the municipality.
He said: “While we plan to deliver quality of life for the current generation, we plan also to protect and preserve the environment for the future generation too.”
The Chief Executive said the Assembly would deliver the following thus provide space for the establishment of a Material Recovery Facility for processing of community waste; and facilitate the formation of informal waste workers into an association towards formalization of their operations.
The rest are to spearhead sensitization and awareness campaign and together with GAYO produce a reliable waste composition data for research and communication and exercise statutory authority over all waste management stakeholders to ensure full compliance with the implementation of zero waste management project.