The Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) a global action-research policy network has inaugurated the first Waste Pickers Cooperative in Ghana at the Kpone Landfill site in the Greater Accra Region.
Mrs Edith Dzidzornu, Deputy Registrar in charge of Legal at Cooperatives Ghana inaugurated the seven-member elected officers who took the oath of office and were charged to work professionally towards the achievement of the aims and objectives of the organization.
Delivering the keynote address, Ms. Dorcas Ansah, Accra City Focal Coordinator of WIEGO stated that the organization existed to improve the status of the working poor in the informal economy.
She mentioned that to be able to dismantle structural barriers to economic empowerment, especially women in the informal sector needed to be organized, and their organization needed to be legally recognized.
The legal basis would give them the power to officially develop and sign a collective bargaining agreement, and be acknowledged in the policy-making process.
Ms. Ansah noted that the Kpone Landfill Site Waste Pickers Association would not only work at the landfill site but would also move into the various communities to pick solid waste from the households.
She stressed that the decision for the waste pickers to embark on the door-to-door waste collection was ignited because of the varied crises faced at the landfill site saying the closure of the Engineered Landfill Site and the imminent plans to close the current landfill site were factored in the waste pickers were having to contend with, saying that people’s livelihood depended on the landfill site.
Mr. Johnson Doe, newly sworn-in president of the Kpone Waste Pickers Association, expressed gratitude to WIEGO for the support over the years.
He added that policymakers should consider the interest of the waste picker if any action would be taken at the landfill site, saying it was time the government through the various development institutions empowered the waste pickers to ensure clean and healthy communities in the country.
Mr Doe stressed that the waste pickers would ensure proper sanitation practices both in the communities and at the landfill site, adding that stakeholders in the sanitation sector must support the waste pickers to perform their duties well.