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AWEP educates pupils of Dawhyenya Methodist B. Basic School on environmental pollution

BY: Della Russel Ocloo
Ms Matilda Payne (with shovel) and Ms Selina Bebaako-Mensah, both of AWEP assisting some of the students to plant one of the trees
Ms Matilda Payne (with shovel) and Ms Selina Bebaako-Mensah, both of AWEP assisting some of the students to plant one of the trees

The Ghana Alumni of the African Women Entrepreneurship Programme (AWEP GH), has challenged students of the Dawhyenya Methodist B. Basic School to be ambassadors of environmental change in their community in an effort to beat air pollution.

According to the group, poor air quality as well as related environmental issues were causing havoc within the cities in Ghana.

The group maintained that whereas Ghana have no proper pollution control systems in place to monitor such activities which were largely caused by human factor, it has become necessary school children be conscientised and empowered on the need to join forces to minimise the effects of air pollution.

The Secretary of the group, Ms Matilda Payne, after a tree planting exercise by the group to mark the 2019 World Environment Day pointed out that getting students to become environmental warriors was one sure way of changing the situation in communities.

Some of the pupils at the sensitisation program. PIXS: DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO

Ms Payne, who is also the Co-Partner of Xtreme Upcycle, an eco-friendly organisation that produces usable items such as furniture and jewelries from waste products such as discarded lorry tyres, sea shells, wrought wood among others pointed out that whereas the struggle with air pollution was not something new, continuous exposure to toxic air from both indoors and outdoors were likely to impact negatively on human lives.

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Sustainable Solutions

The group, which also undertook a cleaning exercise at the Kpone Beach with women volunteers from the community whom they also supplied with logistics to enable them work as sanitation volunteers with the Kpone-Katamanso District Assembly (KKDA) also educated the women on how they could generate incomes by gathering sea-weeds which can be used to produce compost.

She highlighted that whereas sensitisation and attitudinal change among the people were key in mitigating some of these factors, a policy shift by way of the introduction of bio-degradable items, consistent tree planting to enrich the vegetative cover were key in addressing air quality issues.

Ms Matilda Payne (in batik top) and some members of the AWEP team with the women volunteer after the team had cleaned part of the Kpone beach.  PIX: DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO

Ms Payne who also educated the pupils on the dangers of emissions from open tire fires, which she said creates toxics in the atmosphere, hence exposing themselves and their communities to health effects such as irritation of the skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and respiratory effects.

School Management

The Headmistress of the school, Ms Rita Arhin commended the group for the gesture and indicated that the school’s management has in its own little way, initiated environmental projects in the school to mitigate the effects of climate change in the community.

“The goal is to create a relaxing atmosphere where students would have the needed concentration to undertake serious academic works,” Ms Arhin stated.