The Ghana Office of the United Nations (UN) has held a clean-up exercise at Ussher Fort, Jamestown, in Accra ahead of its Ocean Conference scheduled to take place from June 27 to July 1, 2022.
Yesterday’s exercise was done in partnership with the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), Zoomlion Ghana Limited, and UN Habitat.
The exercise involved community members, fishmongers and youth groups through the initiative of the GMMB to help clean the ocean and the environment.
The conference will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. It will bring governments, experts and civil society groups together to accelerate the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 — “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani, said the ocean was a source of livelihood for the communities at Jamestown.
“When you go along the coast, you see plastics and debris in the oceans. During the cleaning, we have seen so much rubbish, and the truth is that everything you throw into the ocean, it will throw back to us,” he stated.
Mr Abani said the ocean was a carbon sink that absorbed carbon dioxide and must, therefore, be valued by the public.
“The idea of a clean planet, one that is breathing and living with us, is one that is clean. About 70 per cent of the mass of the earth is covered by water. If the water is not clean, the earth cannot be clean,” he stressed.
Mr Abani explained that the community would benefit from the exercise as it was highly impacted by the waste from the sea and within the community.
He said it was important to involve everyone in keeping the ocean clean, and urged the government to find ways to eliminate plastics from the production chain.
He suggested to community members to consider recycling and use reusable bags and “say no to plastics”.
“What we need people to stop doing is dumping recklessly, and begin to look at recycling opportunities and take actions to keep the environment clean,” he said.
He called on the government to consider the importance of having a clean environment that was sustainable, saying: “The waste we have in the world today is not a problem one person can solve. We need partnership from global levels, through different national governments, as well as communities to clean up the ocean”.
The Head of the Ussher Fort, Bernard Adjiri Sackey, appealed to community members to contribute and clean the ocean regularly.