Participants at a Stakeholders’ Dialogue Meeting on the safe and effective management of Electrical and Electronic Waste, have called for deepened collaboration between State Agencies and Faith-Based Organisations to understand and know state policies and laws that govern the management of E-waste and push for their implementation.
They agreed to “create a platform that would help Ministries, Departments and Agencies to engage the Faith Based Organisations and also train them in E-waste management.”
At the meeting September 25, they planned to step up efforts to advocate, educate and undertake other practical actions for safe management of electronic wastes.
They suggested that public awareness on the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act, Act 917 (2016), must be increased to control the activities and the management of hazardous waste including electrical and Electronic equipment.
They also proposed the engagement and education of school children on the dangers of E-waste and called on government to make funding available for FBOs for educational purposes.
The meeting was organised by Caritas Ghana at the request of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Caritas Ghana, with support from the French Embassy in Ghana.
The Meeting was an intervention needed for State Agencies and FBOs to dialogue and to understand policies and laws on e-waste products, with the aim to increase awareness to reach greater portion of citizenry on this issue.
It was also to receive the commitment and guidance of the State Agencies on how the role of Faith-Based Organisations could be further enhanced especially through mutual co-operation and to put before them some challenges likely to minimize the impact of E-Waste.
Held at the Christ the King Parish, Accra, it was attended by representatives of Government from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Parliament including the Mistry of Environment, Science , technology and innovation; Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Environmental Protection Agency; National Youth Authority; Accra and Tema Metropolitan Assemblies.
Faith-Based Organizations were represented by the Office of the National Chief Imam, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Christian Council of Ghana, Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Ghana and Marshallan Relief, Development Services, City of God, Accra, and The Catholic Standard Newspaper.
Mr. Samuel Zan Akologo, Executive Secretary of Caritas Ghana noted that “the meeting is to build on commitments made by the Catholic Bishops and their Brother Heads of Member Churches of the Christian Council of Ghana in May 2019 to cooperate with other faith groups to address the menace of poor sanitation and pollution from the wanton burning of plastics and electronic wastes in our cities.”.
According to him, Caritas Ghana “has facilitated Faith-Based Organizations’ understanding about the policy (Act 917) and regulations (LI2250) for the management of e-waste in Ghana to ensure health of the environment and the population.”
He said the Meeting was towards a safe environment today and the future, saying that for the Catholic and the Orthodox Church traditions, the month of September is devoted to prayer for the care of creation.
“With the help of Government, we can back our prayers with other practical actions; including Pope Francis’ call for dialogue in his book – Laudato Si (CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME).”
He stressed that one of the Church’s primary purpose and interest was to address electrical and electronic wastes which have potential damage to the environment, human health and livelihoods.
Dr. Marion Chapon Sejourne, Cooperation Attaché at the Embassy of France in Ghana, said France is committed to sustainable development hence its support to the dialogue which is to supplement government’s efforts to implement Act 917.
Mr. Hammond Hameed, a representative of the Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, called on government to create jobs for the youth through effective apprentice programmes to acquire skills.