Pure Earth Global Board Chair visits Ghana
The Chairman of the global board of Pure Earth, a non governmental organisation, Conrad Meyer last week paid a working visit to Ghana.
The short trip, from March 10 to 11, 2023 helped Mr Meyer to appraise himself with the work that Pure Earth is currently doing in its core areas of operation.
Since the opening of Pure Earth, formally known as the Blacksmith Initiative Ghana office, the not-for-profit organisation has worked with government and other non-state partner organisations to identify, highlight environmental pollution problems and taking steps to solve the menace.
This includes the implementation of a pilot project to test wire stripping and other equipment, to provide an alternative to burning of e-waste. Pure Earth has also educated workers in the area on dangers of exposure to toxic levels of lead and how to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
Pure Earth is currently working to highlight the lead pollution and concentration in the blood of children in Ghana and the devastating health impact it has on the growth of young people.
Pure Earth Ghana in collaboration with UNICEF and Ghana Health Service began one of Ghana’s largest ever blood lead level (BLL) testing and home-based assessment programs.
The project is providing baseline data for Ghana that will aid in decision making on control measures. The study is being undertaken in communities within the three ecological zones of Ghana. The Public Health Division staff are leading the Ghana Health Service in carrying out the survey.
The Public Health Reference Laboratory and laboratory staff within the corresponding districts are helping to analyze the data, thereby strengthening the capacity of regional healthcare systems to effectively diagnose and manage lead-related morbidity.
The Ghana Health Service team has commenced the testing of blood lead levels in Greater Accra, Ashanti, and the Northern region of Ghana in November 2022. Shortly afterwards, Pure Earth and technicians from the Mountain Research Institute (MRI) conducted home based assessments, which included testing for potential sources of lead exposure in households such as paint, toys, cookware, spices, cosmetics, soil, and water.
The blood lead level testing was focused on children ages 1–5, who are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of lead exposure.
The findings of this programme are expected in 2023 and will help inform public health initiatives and policies around lead poisoning prevention and awareness.
Pure Earth has, through its years of research work, identified more than 400 toxics polluted sites across Ghana.
Pure Earth, Blacksmith Initiative is working with responsible government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lead advocacy effort to clean up these sites and stop the generational cycle of lead poisoning.