By Audrey Dekalu, GNA
Accra , June 7, GNA -Nestle Ghana has inaugurated a $3.4 million Water Recycle Plant towards ensuring the use of sustainable natural resources and to save the Tema water bodies from pollution, as part of activities commemorating the World Environment Day.
The 3.5 million (Swiss Franc) facility is an Ultra Filtration-Reverse Osmosis system, at the Tema Factory, would improve the quality of waste water, enable the reuse of water by 30 per cent and lower the total water consumption of the factory by 10 per cent.
« Join the Race to Green Ghana and Protect Wildlife » is the national theme for this year’s World Environment, celebrated on June 5.
The day seeks to remind the World’s citizens of their responsibility towards the environment and afford them the opportunity to consolidate the gains made; and reflect on what actions are needed to safeguard the environment.
President John Mahama commended Nestle for the initiative and urged other industry players to emulate Nestlé’s environmental consciousness.
They should, therefore, invest in the conservation of renewable energy, water management and limit greenhouse gas emissions.
The President, whose speech was read by Mr Collins Oppong Fosu, a Minister of State at the Presidency, stated: « One of the major challenges of our times is Climate Change and it is a threatening environmental issue of our times.
« Scientific evidence is now so overwhelming that it presents very serious global risks and it demands an urgent global response ».
President Mahama said it was, therefore, important for the country to take steps to reduce the impact of Climate Change and its effects of on the citizenry.
« Relief and rehabilitation efforts have, however, become a major drain on Ghana’s development drive, » the President said.
He also commended Nestle for the provision of quality water to many cocoa –growing areas across the country.
The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Mahama Ayariga, said improper waste disposal had become the order of the day, especially in the industrial sector and it was harming the quality of the environment.
He, therefore, called on the decision makers in industry to employ the appropriate technology in their activities, especially with respect to waste management.
Mr Ayariga said the Ministry was ready to partner Nestle and other key players in industry to help achieve a clean environment with scientific, technological and innovative ideas.
He suggested to Nestle to consider extending the treated water to the farmers at Afienya, in the Greater Accra Region, to irrigate their crops.
Mrs. Freda Y. Duplan, the Managing Director of Nestlé Ghana, said the initiative to invest in a Water Recycling Plant stemmed from the Company’s 39 commitments to society agenda.
« As part of the commitments in the area of water, Nestlé commits to treat the water it discharges effectively, » she said. « The treatment of the water meets local legislation and Nestlé environmental compliance standards ».
These 39 commitments of Nestlé to society have a link with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have Water and Sanitation at their core.
Through its Environmental Sustainability Commitments, Nestlé commits to improving resource efficiency in its operations.
According to the World Bank, urban solid waste could potentially increase from 1.3 billion tonnes per year today to 2.2 billion by 2025.
Nii Adjei Kraku II, the Chief of Tema, commended Nestle for the initiative, saying it would save the Chemu Lagoon from degradation.
He said that important water body to Tema was suffering from polluted industrial discharge, especially from iron rod producers.
He, therefore, urged the Environment Ministry and the other key stakeholders to urgently initiate actions to stop the unhealthy practice, which also silted the lagoon and resulted in the flooding of its catchment areas.