By P. K Yankey, GNA
Accra, June 06, GNA – The Sub-Metro Director of the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), Madam Jennifer Boham has called for the enforcement of bye-laws to prosecute offenders of indiscriminate plastic waste disposal.
She noted that plastic waste had engulfed the entire nation thereby degrading the natural environment and posing health hazards to the citizenry.
Madam Boham said this in a keynote address on behalf of the Metro Chief Executive of the STMA to mark this year’s World Environment Day celebrations at Nkontompo in the Sekondi Metropolis.
The event which was on the theme, « Beat Plastic Pollution »,was organised by the Coastal Sustainable Landscape Project (CSLP) in partnership with the STMA, Environmental Protection Agency,(EPA), Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Hen Mpoano, Friends of the Nation(FoN),the GES, the US Forestry Commission and the Wildlife Division and sponsored by USAID.
Basic school children from the Kow Nketsia A.M.E. Zion went on a route march from Nkontompo through the Sekondi-Takoradi highway to Ekuase hoisting placards such as « Beat Plastic Pollution In Ghana », « Responsible Disposal of Plastics », » Cleanliness Is next to Godliness », « Carry a Shopping Bag », »Carry less Plastic home »,to create awareness of the day.
Madam Boham called for attitudinal change among the citizenry in the quest to stem the tide and make Ghana an environmentally-friendly place to live and appealed to all stakeholders to come on board to tackle the plastic waste menace head- on to sustain the environment.
The Sub-Metro Director said the government had taken a bold step to combat the plastic waste revolution and appealed to well-meaning Ghanaians to lend the required support .
The Assistant Director of CSLP, Mr Emmanuel Ntiri stressed the need to strengthen the National Sanitation Day exercise to deal with plastic waste disposal and ensure cleanliness.
He said it was about time Ghana took a cue from other countries on the recycling of plastic waste to reap the benefits from it.
Mr Ntiri bemoaned that about 100,000 animals in the sea were infected by plastic pollution every year which had a debilitating effect on human consumption,
The Regional Director of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission Dr Moses Kofi Sam who spoke on the Effects of Plastic Pollution on Wildlife decried the pollution of river bodies with plastic waste which becomes toxin to the fish stock.
He said only 3 per cent of plastic wastes were recycled for other useful ventures such as plastic chairs with a chunck of the waste degrading the environment.
« Our lagoons, mangroves and forest have dried up or getting depleted respectively, he lamented.
Dr Sam asked all to take bold steps to enact bye-laws with traditional rulers at the pivot to ban plastic waste in the country.
The Metro SHEP Coordinator at the Ghana Education Service, Mr Ebenezer Tetteh Tawiah said the GES would drum home the message to beat plastic pollution in schools, communities and churches and reminded Ghanaians to reduce, reuse, recycle and adopt responsible disposal of waste to maintain a clean environment.
Mr Tawiah said the GES would pursue a vigorous campaign against waste pollution in the country.
Programmes Coordinator of Friends of the Nation, Mr Solomon Kusi Ampofo who spoke on effects of plastic waste on fishing, said Ghana must move away from plastic bags to paper bags to mitigate environmental degradation.
He said more than 2.9m people were employed in the fishing industry with $1billion annual dividends to the government and said experts had projected that by 2050, the sea would be choked by plastic waste.
The Chief of Nkontompo,Nana Attappi in a speech read for him entreated people within the catchment area to rally behind the government to tackle the plastic pollution head on to ensure a sound environment.