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Consultant attributes more plastic usage to inadequate of quality water

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By
Eric Appah Marfo, GNA

Accra, April 18, GNA –
Madam Bertha Darteh, a Consultant for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water
Resources (MSWR) has attributed the high usage of plastic in the country to the
inadequate access to quality pipe borne water.

She said the revelation
came when the ministry took the initiative to ascertain the fundamental reasons
why people had to use a lot of plastics and concluded that one of the realities
of the matter was about low access to quality water.

Madam Darteh was
speaking at a Multi-Stakeholder dialogue in Accra organised by the United
Nations Development Programme, Ghana (UNDP Ghana) to brainstorm and share
knowledge on how to curb the plastics menace in the country.

She said if people
could be assured of easy access to quality water, the Ministry was of the firm
belief that the use of plastics would reduce.

She also attributed
the reasons for minimal impact on management of plastic waste to the absence of
collaboration and noted that, “no matter how the good some private initiatives
were, we would not see the impact strongly if it is being done on a small
scale.”

She said the ministry
sought to promote coordination and harmonization amongst these private
organisations.

Madam Darteh revealed
that the ministry had issues surrounding how to gain access to finance and
making incentives available for service providers to provide better services.

Mr Oliver Boachie,
Special Assistant to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and
Innovation disclosed that government was partnering with the World Economic
Forum to implement a new programme called Global Plastic Exchange Partnership
(GPEP) which is a partnership made up of global businesses, international
donors, national and local government, community groups and world class experts.

He said a team from
Nairobi will be in Ghana to have further discussions with key stakeholders with
the goal of launching GPEP in Ghana in July this year.

“GPEP has selected
only two countries in the world to implement this programme; the first is Indonesia
with Ghana being the second”, he added.

Mr Desmond Appiah,
Sustainability and Resilience Advisor, AMA noted that the Assembly had been
consistent with the enforcement of arrest and prosecution of people who were
dumping waste indiscriminately.

“Virtually every
month, people are taken to court for sanitation offences. Just over the quarter
if this year, we have taken over 120 people to court at the local level”, he
said.

“We have renovated the
sanitation courts that within the old AMA boundaries to be sure that the
Justice System has a conducive environment to carry out its mandate”, he added.

The meeting, which was
to stimulate partnerships and accelerate the delivery of tangible solutions for
plastic management in Ghana, had over 100 stakeholders in attendance.

Participants were
drawn from the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation
(MESTI), Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) and the Accra
Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

Private sector
Stakeholders present were the Department for International Development (DFID),
Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE), Environmental
Service Protection Agency (ESPA) and representatives from the University of
Ghana.

DFID, GRIPE, ESPA and
the representatives from the University of Ghana took turns to also disclose
their initiatives towards plastic management, challenges and way forward.

GNA



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