The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), has held an inception technical workshop for the “Environmentally Sound Disposal and Recycling of E-waste in Ghana” Programme in Accra.
The Technical workshop is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
With an approved budget of 15 million Euro from the German Government, the “Environmentally Sound Disposal and Recycling of E-waste in Ghana” Programme would support MESTI to improve the conditions for sustainable management and disposal of e-waste in the country.
[contextly_sidebar id=”4ZK9qgSvC4VD0GeeSbBkxjgqGulXjJSc”]With five million euro as financial cooperation through GIZ and 10 million euro as financial cooperation through the KfW Development Bank, the programme is expected to improve access to services and reduce exposure to environmental and health risk.
Addressing stakeholders at the inception technical workshop on Wednesday, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, stressed the importance of tackling e-waste challenges in the country.
He said: “Working on sustainable solutions for e-waste management allows citizenry pursue the different development goals of the country.”
“And going into this, sustainable e-waste management will reduce environmental pollution and health risks to the population,” he said.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng added that the e-waste management when acquainted extensively would contribute to improving the working conditions of many scrap dealers as well as enhance the development of recycling industries in the country.
“While this approach will further provide much needed employment opportunities for people, making a contribution to the economic growth in the country will be assured”, he said.
Mr Alan Walsch, the Country Director of GIZ Ghana, said the Programme’s multi-stakeholder approach involving national and local government institutions, private companies and the informal sector was commendable.
“All stakeholders, including the ones making their livelihood of e-waste, need to be part of the solutions.” He said
Mr Walsch noted that the consultation of stakeholders would be an ongoing process through the implementation of the Programme, which would be determined until January 2020.
Mr Bright Acheampong, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority said the workshop was an opportune platform towards scaling up the youth’s ambition to venture into new initiatives with GIZ, as well as other stakeholders whose ideas and activities would ensure a better understanding, appreciation and preservation of the local environments.
He said to shore up the one-district one-factory agenda of the government, premium needed to be placed on power plants that would rely largely on combustible domestic and industrial waste to generate electricity.
He, therefore, called for an alternative livelihood programme for the youth who engaged in negative practices that affected the environment.
“The Youth Authority within the government’s manifesto will build capacity of the youth to advocate the strengthening of the many policies and programmes to manage the environment such as those under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), National Environment Protection Programme including the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control Management Act, 2016 (Act 917),” Mr Acheampong said.
Mr Chirstoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador to Ghana, indicated that in addition, the German Federal State of North Rhine- Westphalia would support the establishment of a health post at Old Fadama for scrap workers through GIZ.
Stakeholders articulated the challenges they are facing in the sector and gave their recommendations for a successful implementation of the programme.
Participants who deliberated and shared ideas on the e-waste management included representatives from the public sector, Environmental Protection Agency, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Academia, waste management and recycling companies, retailers in the trade as well as the informal sector, including the Greater Accra Scrap Dealer Association.
In July 2016, Ghana’s legislature passed the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Bill 2016.