Accra,- Government has commended the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for supporting innovations in the country’s waste management systems for sustainable development.
The UNDP has provided technical support and funding to over 10 small and medium scale businesses to implement innovative solutions in the waste management value chain.
Through the Waste Recovery Innovation Challenge, the UNDP had strengthened 14 businesses, civil society organizations and a research institution and disbursed grants of up to $400,000.
In a speech read on behalf of Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, at the launch of the Ghana Waste Fair in Accra, he said government had had a long standing engagement with UNDP through the establishment of the Waste Recovery Platform.
The Fair is organized by the UNDP in collaboration with the Ghana National Plastic Action under the auspices of the Waste Recovery Platform and Coca Cola Foundation.
The collaboration, he said, led to improvement in the country’s waste management system, adding that the waste generated had affected the country’s development agenda in health and tourism sectors.
The Minister said the country was beginning to shift the discourse and narrative of seeing waste as a resource for development, which must be embraced by all and sundry.
He said the Fair would provide opportunity for corporate Ghana to see those innovative solutions, tap into the potential and encouraged the upscaling of the solutions.
The Fair, Dr Afriyie stated, would enable government to work with the relevant development partners, the wider private sector, the academia, and stakeholders for the advancement of the discussions and solutions mapping for sound waste management in the country.
He urged organizers of the Fair to institute the event as an annual programme for close networking, effective learning of lessons and interventions to improve and optimize the impacts of waste in the country.
Dr Afriyie said the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Sanitation would soon launch a pilot project in plastic waste management with some selected district assemblies, urging stakeholders to support the initiative to maximize the country’s effort to green economy.
Dr Angela Lusigi, UNDP Country Representative, said their goal was to work with the private and public sector as well as foundations, research institutions, local authorities and the media among others to step up interventions in integrated waste management.
“We must all recognize the urgency of environmental sound waste management as a gateway to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for people, prosperity, planet, peace and partnerships”.
“Reducing pollution and health impacts through environmentally sound management of all waste must be done throughout the product life cycle and by prioritising waste prevention, reduction, recycling and re-use,” she said.
It is estimated that 1 per cent of the global urban population make their living from recovering recyclable materials from waste.
Mrs Ama Ofori Antwi, Executive Director, Environmental Service Providers Association, was hopeful that lessons learnt from the Fair would consolidate the gains to achieve the goal of green economy.
She called for competitive pricing regime for the Association to maximize its role in an effective and efficient manner.
Source: Ghana News Agency