Waste Management Company, Zoomlion Ghana Ltd, yesterday launched a foundation to spearhead its corporate social responsibility activities.
The foundation, which was registered in July 2014, has been operational since then, working in three thematic areas – environmental sanitation management, healthcare support and educational support.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Executive Chairman of the Zoomlion and Jospong Groups of Companies, Mr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, said the Zoomlion Foundation, which was an independent entity formed to lead social intervention activities, was a further demonstration of their commitment to the communities they served “and also to complement Ghana’s sustainable development efforts.”
Since the inception of the Zoomlion and Jospong Groups of Companies, GH¢10 million has been invested to support corporate social interventions in the three thematic areas.
Mr Agyepong said, “the Zoomlion Foundation will serve as the sole avenue through which the group will continue to demonstrate its commitment and social responsibilities to the society in Ghana.”
He said a special budget had been committed to support the work of the foundation, which would be increased annually.
National Sanitation Day
The special guest for the launch, which had the theme, “Building a Sustainable Environment to Impact Future Generations,” the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, said “we need to scale up our responses and our interventions that will help to rid Ghana of filth.”
Saying that it was the reason the government under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had instituted the National Sanitation Day (NSD), she urged all Ghanaians to partake in the national exercise to make our environments and communities cleaner.
She said although she believed that Zoomlion’s decision to create environmental sanitation awareness was good, it was also a cross-cutting call that needed to address indiscipline and insanitary conditions.
“We are concentrating on the children – this is a very wise choice but let’s also add the women,” she said, adding that women played a very critical role in sustainable development through communication and awareness raising of environmental issues, especially on the health impact.
“We must involve women in the communication industries in raising awareness regarding environmental issues, especially on the environmental and health impacts of products, technologies and industrial processes and support women’s initiatives. By that we shall not only be creating a healthy environment for this generation alone, but those unborn,” she stressed.
The launch attracted several schoolchildren belonging to Zoomkids clubs that have been formed in basic schools to act as change agents by inculcating in the children, good environmental practices and making the club members peer educators.
Some of the children performed a sketch and recited poems on the need to ensure environmental cleanliness.
In her address at the launch, the Coordinator of the Zoomlion Foundation, Mrs Sarah Kyei, said the vision of the foundation was to ensure an environmentally conscious society for a sustainable future, while the mission was to incorporate a culture of environmental sanitation practices through training and capacity building, advocacy and direct support.
She also said the foundation’s first focal area was the Zoomkids, which currently comprised over 400 school clubs and coordinators in all regions of the country.
Mrs Kyei indicated that very soon the foundation would be seeking scholarships to train some club members in various environmental vocations.