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Ghana’s Guidelines on Lead-acid Management ready


  1 Mai      78        Economie (17217), Technologie (777),

   

Accra, April 30, GNA – A guideline to ensure that Used Lead-Acid Batteries (ULABs) are safely collected, handled and recycled by value chain actors has been launched in Accra.

The guidelines, funded by the Swiss Secretariat of Economic Affairs, will serve as a procedure for policymakers, auditors and plant managers on how to design and operate battery recycling processes.

Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who launched the Technical Guidelines in Accra on Friday, said it would be used for licencing of all ULAB recycling industries.

He said the document would serve as a tool for the EPA to operationalise the laws on Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management along the entire e-waste value-chain.

The Executive Director said although lead had some beneficial uses, it could be toxic to humans and animals, causing health defects.

Referencing the World Health Organisation, he said lead exposure could have serious consequences on the health of children and high levels of exposure could attack the brain and central nervous system, causing coma, convulsions and even death.

“Children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with intellectual disability and behavioural disorders. At lower levels of exposure that cause no obvious symptoms, lead is now known to produce a spectrum of injury across multiple body systems,” he said.

“Lead can affect children’s brain development, resulting in reduced intelligence quotient, behavioural changes such as reduced attention span, increased antisocial behaviour, and reduced educational attainment.”

Mr Salim Salifu, the Secretary of Gbewa Scrap Dealers Association, expressed joy at the completion of the guidelines and said it would be fully implemented to regulate the sector.

Dr Sampson Atiemo, the National Coordinator of Sustainable Recycling Industry, said it was not the duty of scrap dealers to drain acid out of used lead batteries due it delicate and poisonous nature.

He stated that the companies were required to buy outright the used-batteries with the acid, adding: “It is one of the tenets of the Guidelines and EPA must make sure companies adhere to it.”

Mrs Lydia Essuah, the Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the guidelines would help Ghana transition into global recycling of secondary lead.

Dr Steve Binks, the Regulatory Affairs Director of International Lead Association, commended Ghana for taking a bold decision to improve the used-lead batteries sector and pledged the organisation’s support towards its success.

“We are positive about this development and hope that the transition will be smooth. Other countries have similar challenges and we hope this guideline will help deal with it.”

Mrs Leticia Nyaaba, the Director, Ghana National Production Center, EPA, explained that as part of the implementation, said the EPA would build the capacity of the scrap dealers to better handle the used-lead batteries.

Stakeholder consultations would also be held to educate them on their roles in the implementation of the guidelines to improve sector safety.

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