Nestle Ghana has donated waste bins and handwashing stations to selected schools in the Tema metropolis under the company’s employee volunteer programme, Nestlé Cares.
The team also planted over 100 trees at the Tema Manhean Anglican Cluster of Schools and the Community 8 No 4 basic schools, where they also presented watering cans and shovels to aid the pupils to maintain a hygienic environment within the schools.
The team used the opportunity to sensitise the pupils of the beneficiary schools to the need to maintain proper hygiene, especially at a time that Ghana is experiencing the third wave infections of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the event, the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestlé Ghana, Ms Deborah Kwablah, indicated that greening and protecting the environment ought to be an everyday affair.
She indicated that the selection of the schools stemmed from the fact that community activities were having a negative impact on the school environment.
“At Nestlé, we have made a commitment to contribute to environmental sustainability through several actions and this exercise is not just about the trees and donation but to help imbibe in students positive actions in environmental sustainability,” Ms Kwablah said.
Ms Kwablah indicated that challenges with waste management in the country required that the general public develop the habit of waste segregation at source which she said could contribute towards addressing the country’s sanitation challenges.
Segregating waste, she said, made them easier to manage since organic waste decomposed more easily than paper and plastic which even took a longer time to decompose.
Waste management, she stressed, played a very important role in delivering sustainable development since there could be value extraction by way of reusable or recyclable materials.
“We believe that the ability to separate plastics and paper from the other waste will also increase the existing recycling activities that are being done by some institutions,” Ms Kwablah said.
She expressed the hope that the beneficiary schools would nurture the trees which she said would help in sustaining the health of the environment.
A representative of the Tema Traditional Council and the Adigon Mantse, Nii Tetteh Atanya II, underscored the benefits the school and the community could derive from the trees if they were nurtured to maturity.
He commended Nestlé for the initiative and encouraged members of the Manhean community to endeavour to plant trees around their surroundings so as to improve the environment in the community.
The Tema Metro Director of Education, Mrs Bernice Ofori, expressed regret that most schools in the metropolis had become bare as a result of community activities.
Describing the Nestlé Care volunteer programme as timely, Mrs Ofori said that the trees, apart from beautifying the environment of the beneficiary schools would also offer shade for pupils and teachers, purify the air quality in the school and also prevent soil erosion.
She urged the teachers and pupils to ensure the sanitary facilities were well maintained and utilised, since handwashing was key to COVID-19 prevention.