An award scheme has been launched in Accra with the objective of promoting environmental health and safety across the country.
The Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) award aims to encourage the public to protect the environment and live healthy lifestyles.
The scheme was instituted by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) in collaboration with the Gratis Foundation and Maximum Growth Africa, a non-governmental organisation.
The scheme is the first ever to be instituted by MESTI on environmental health and safety, and is on the theme “Transformative and sustainable change; creating a healthy and wealthy nation”. The awards ceremony is expected to take place in October this year.
As part of the launch, a special logo was unveiled by a Deputy Minister of MESTI, Madam Bernice Adiku Heloo.
Explaining the procedure, the Chief Executive Officer of Maximum Growth Africa Limited, Mr Francis Ackatia Kwaidoo, said individuals or institutions who might be interested in the awards would have to submit their profile, company logo, registration certificates and evidence to demonstrate corporate social responsibility geared towards enhancing the ecology of the environment to the MESTI before the close of August, 2016.
After all the entries, he said the award committee would select those who met the criteria and requirements.
“Journalists who want to submit their entries would have to demonstrate that their stories are geared towards resolving environmental issues,” he said.
Mr Kwaidoo said the awards were in 15 categories and included health and education, environmental sanitation and pollution, agriculture and agribusiness, insurance and financial services, infrastructure and marine safety.
“To be awarded, the recipients must ensure that their activities and programmes are geared towards preserving and conserving the environment,” he stressed.
Creation of jobs
Mr Kwaidoo said the awards would go a long way to create jobs for the youth of the country.
According to him, awardees would be expected to create jobs by way of the planting of trees and engaging in other innovative ventures that are environmentally friendly.
“Companies, individuals, organisations and institutions that promote and sponsor transformative actions urgently need to stimulate investor interest in environmentally sustainable projects will be selected for the EHS awards,” he said.
Role of ministry
In her address, Madam Heloo said by law the ministry was mandated to integrate, promote and facilitate environmental interventions by implementing programmes that are sustainable.
She lauded the initiative between the ministry and its collaborative agencies and noted that such interventions must have a direct impact on humans and the environment.
“The government gives recognition to public private partnership (PPP) and encourages practitioners who make deliberate efforts to ensure that the environment is protected and at the same time promote societal responsibility,” she said.