NGO turns plastic waste to cash

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
 Mark Atila Sadik, Executive Director of Godly World International Centre
Mark Atila Sadik, Executive Director of Godly World International Centre

The Godly World International Centre, (GOWIC) a non-governmental organisation, is leading in the fight against plastic waste in the country using innovative ways to turn plastic waste into viable ventures.

The organisation, based in the Upper East Region, is collaborating with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to train Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in two training centres in the Bolgatanga Municipal and Bongo District assemblies on using plastic waste (iced water sachets, takeaway polythene bags etc.) to weave doormats.

The collaboration is currently undertaking a project on “Enhancing the capabilities and resilience of persons with disabilities in Bolgatanga and Bongo communities to cope with climate change whilst investing in sustainable land management and plastic waste management.”

The programme, which started in December 2017, has so far produced about 100 doormats, shopping bags, purses and hats.

The project, initiated by the organisation and is being funded by GEF of the UNDP has been training women and youth to weave baskets, hats, and ropes using plastic waste (iced water sachets, ‘takeaway rubbers’).

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The pilot programme, currently has training and weaving centres at Akature, Tindonsolibgo in the Bolgatanga Municipality, Zorko, Zorko Goo, Gowrie, Kukumwa, Yariga and Vea in the Bongo District and Kongo in the Nabdam Districts.

Dubbed “Operation Beat Plastic Waste” the programme is aimed at eliminating plastic waste from the environment, in line with this year’s theme of the World Environmental Day, which entreats all nations to beat plastic waste pollution from entering the ocean. 

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“GOWIC has no choice but to respond to the call of action for all stakeholders to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time,” the Executive Director of GOWIC Mark Atila Sadik told the Mirror in an interview.

He said the intervention sought to collect plastic waste and to use them to produce doormats for government agencies, individuals and institutions.

He said the programme intended “to reach those at the bottom of the pyramid”, with the aim of improving the lives of those who were most needy, the poorest of the poor, the vulnerable such as the PWDs, unemployed youth and the general public.

Mr Sadik was optimistic that such a move would stem the rural-urban drift among mostly teenagers from the northern part to the southern part of the country in search for non-existing jobs.

He has therefore, appealed to government institutions, especially the ministries to patronise their products, particularly the door mats to help sustain the project and also rid the country of plastic waste.

Mr Sadik said he was seeking a partnership collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Sanitation as well as the Ministry of Environment, Science and Innovation.

He explained that the purpose of GOWIC was to help develop the distressed, needy, neglected and vulnerable people, by collaborating and partnering with assemblies, NGOs, community based organisation (CBOs), civil society groups and development partners.

Mr Sadik explained that such a partnership would improve the lives of persons and inculcate in them, the moral values of integrity, honesty, selfless service and patriotism.