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Plastic waste management programme launched in SHSs

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
 Dr Angela Tena Mensah (4th left) being assisted by Mrs Hannah Boahemaa Otu (3rd left), General Manager, Logistics Ghana Limited, to present the items to Mr David Odjidja (right), after the launch of the National Senior High School (SHS) Plastic Recovery Programme. Also in the photograph is Ms Adenyo (left), Public Relations Officer, Platinum Africa Solutions Limited teachers and students of PRESEC. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo
Dr Angela Tena Mensah (4th left) being assisted by Mrs Hannah Boahemaa Otu (3rd left), General Manager, Logistics Ghana Limited, to present the items to Mr David Odjidja (right), after the launch of the National Senior High School (SHS) Plastic Recovery Programme. Also in the photograph is Ms Adenyo (left), Public Relations Officer, Platinum Africa Solutions Limited teachers and students of PRESEC. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

The Ghana Education Service (GES), in collaboration with TOA House, a civil society organisation, has launched a national Senior High School (SHS) Plastic Recovery Programme to inculcate in students the habit of segregating waste.

The initiative, on the theme: “Innovative solutions to environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production”, which was launched at the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School (PRESEC), Legon, Accra, is also aimed at encouraging students to recycle the trash they generate in their schools to keep their compounds and environs clean.

The project, which is being piloted in 66 SHSs in the Greater Accra Region and 34 in the Eastern Region between March and August this year, could be extended to other SHSs nationwide.

To ensure the smooth implementation of the programme, JSA Logistics, a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies, has donated 1,000 trash bins and 10 tricycles estimated at GH¢200,000.

Challenges

The Director in charge of the Secondary Education Division of the GES, Dr Angela Tena Mensah, said plastic waste had become an environmental challenge, a development which made the launch of the project timely.

She said the commencement of the project with some SHSs was also a step in the right direction, since the students, who would become tomorrow’s leaders, needed to be trained in the proper disposal of waste.

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“These students will play a key role in ridding our environment of plastic waste which is non-degradable. As ambassadors of change, when you go back home you must assist in clearing plastic from your homes, communities, gutters, soil, rivers, the sea and the beaches,” Dr Mensah added.

According to her, excessive plastic waste materials were not only negatively affecting health but also the environment.

“As consumers, we can make a difference by using less plastic and choosing other alternatives in our daily affairs,” she said.

The Headmaster of PRESEC, Mr David Odjidja, welcomed the initiative and said managing waste had been a challenge in most schools and communities in the country and that the huge investments in the sector were not yielding the desired results.

He said the school, which had a population of 4,000, consisting of 3,000 students and 1,000 teachers and their dependants, was a direct agent of change, for which reason resources must be invested in it.

“The waste this huge population generates in a day is huge and managing it has become a challenge,” he added.
Mr Odjidja pledged the support of the school to the successful implementation of the project.

Ambassadors of change

For her part, the General Manager of JSA Logistics Ghana Limited, Mrs Hannah B. Otu, said as a supply chain firm, her outfit had realised that plastic waste was a grave threat to the environment.

“This is the reason we are supporting TOA House to manage plastic waste in our environment,” she said.

She urged the participating schools to be ambassadors of change to make Ghana one of the cleanest cities in the world in the near future.