The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation have awarded three senior high schools a total of 9,000 US dollars to enable them implement innovative waste management projects in schools.
The waste innovation challenge, which was organized under the Ghana Waste Recovery Platform , aimed to support young people in Ghana to develop innovative solutions for waste management towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
St. Catherine Senior High School, from Agbakope in the Volta Region, emerged winners of the competition and received $4,000 dollars to support their project, which seeks to empower students and teachers to manage domestically generated waste. Also, sewage from the students’ bathhouse will be connected to a receptacle and later used to irrigate the school garden and promote tree-planting projects in the school. Moreover, solid waste materials will be transferred from the school’s kitchen and compound into a compost pit to serve as manure, and this will be used to support the growth of plants in the school’s premises.
First runner up, Obuasi Senior High Technical School was awarded 3,000 US dollars for the design of a working prototype of a solar powered contactless waste segregation bin to encourage reuse and recycling.
With an innovative idea to build an automatic waste sorting bin to make separation of waste easier and enable efficient recycling, the Methodist Senior High School, the third winner, was awarded 2,000 US dollars.
The young innovators excitedly received their awards with cheers and thanked UNDP and the Coca Cola Foundation for the support.
“Winning this is a dream that has come true. We are now ready to implement this project and grateful for this opportunity”, said Essien Rita, one of the students from the St Catherine Senior High School.
The Head of Environment and Climate Cluster at UNDP Ghana, Paolo Dalla Stella encouraged young people to play an active role in waste management.
“Engaging young people in sustainable waste management will positively impacts their attitudes and behaviors, so they can adopt and promote environmentally friendly practices in their schools and homes,” he stated.
The Innovative Solutions for Waste Management Challenge was a competition for second cycle schools and aimed to promote awareness on the challenges of waste, solutions for integrated waste management, segregation at source especially at the household level and how individuals, institutions, schools, corporations, government and civil society can get involved to promote sustainable waste management. The challenge received over 30 entries amongst which Aburi Girls’ Senior High School and Cape Coast Technical Institute emerged fourth and fifth respectively.