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17.11.2005 General News

Waste management is a challenge - Dr Agambila

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Accra, Nov. 17, GNA - The Ministry of Environment and Science would soon submit to Cabinet for approval a memorandum to establish a fund to be used for the payment of plastic waste in the country. Dr Gheysika Agambila, Deputy Minister of Environment and Science, who announced this on Thursday, said this was part of the measures to tackle the problem of waste management.

"Waste management is a national challenge for which we need to strategise and address," he said at a workshop on waste management in Accra on the theme, "The Challenges of Waste Management: Acculturation at the Basic Level".

The workshop objective is to present a preliminary report on Research-Policy Gap Analysis: The Case of Community Water and Sanitation and to develop a project proposal on the acculturation at the basic level of education in waste management.

The proposal will among other things formulate strategies for the acculturation with the participation of key stakeholders. Dr Agambila said though urbanisation was the number one cause of waste management, the country could not effectively address the challenge unless citizens adopted a holistic approach and the spirit of communal responsibility.

He noted that if care was not taken the problem would be out of hand because more than 40 per cent of the country's population was estimated to be living in cities and towns and the population was expected to shoot up in the next 10-15 years.

The Deputy Minister called for the enforcement of laws, byelaws and the allocation of significant portion of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies budget to waste collection and disposal. Dr Agambila said in countries where waste disposal had seen tremendous improvement it began from the home with the separation of waste for recycling industries. "This is a big contrast to what pertains in Ghana."

He said recycling industries were hungry for this raw material but waste was scattered all over the country and the issue of low remuneration had made collection difficult.

He charged participants to design a programme to educate young children on how to address the challenges of waste management. "In so doing you would have contributed immensely to our development. Once a child knows how to properly dispose of waste in the home, he grows up with it and the whole society benefits from that practice".