Recycle Up! Ghana – The Idea
“Peace is characterized by the absence of violence. ‘Violence’ is many faceted and its definition largely depends on the circumstances people face in their everyday lives. Environmental hazards pose a threat to the long term functioning of a peaceful Ghanaian community.”
The increasing share of plastic in total waste and the unwarily disposal thereof substantially affects the majority of cities and communities in Ghana.
Estimates suggest that up to 70% of the 1980 tonnes of daily plastic waste in Ghana end up on the streets. Drinking water and groceries in Ghana are contained in little plastic sachets and plastic bags, respectively. Most of these bags find their way on the street where they clog drains and consequently increase the risk of destructive flooding during the rainy season. Research has shown that part of the cholera outbreaks in Ghana’s capital Accra – which amount to approximately 60 per week – can be attributed to the use of plastic bags, such as those found on the street, for other purposes than intended (e.g. “flying toilet”).
Recycle Up! Ghana seeks to increase pupils’ awareness of environmental issues, to provide a better understanding of the potential adverse societal effects implied by excessive plastic waste pollution as well as to develop a sustainable, local recycling solution preventing such. These objectives are to be accomplished through the project’s main element: a two-week long summer camp.
The content of the camp is threefold: In the first part, the training will foster the students’ awareness about the plastic waste problem and related societal conflicts by providing them with hands on knowledge regarding the implications of unwarily disposal of plastic waste and different ways of circumventing it.
In a second step, the students will explore local communities with the goal of applying their previously acquired knowledge through the identification and documentation of observed plastic pollution problems.
Finally, the students will work in teams to developed recycling solutions for the identified problems in their local communities which aims at preventing long term societal conflicts. Being accompanied by an experienced mentor, the teams will be provided proper guidance in terms of quality and feasibility of their proposals.
The teams that come up with the most promising solutions will be awarded with seed funding and further assistance by Technology without Border e.V. in implementing their recycling idea in the local community.
Involving all participants as change agents and nominating them as Recycle Up! Ambassadors will amplify the spread of knowledge and awareness. Throughout the camp, the Recyle Up! Ghana initiative will provide students with proper training that enables them to disemminate ideas in their local communities.
Recyle Up! believes that increasing awareness among the future leaders is one of the key determinants when striving to implement recycling solutions that are capable of preventing long term conflicts in the community.
Through the implementation of the concrete recycling solutions along with the nomination of local environmental ambassadors in the adversely affected areas, the Recycle Up! Ghana project will benefit these communities in a sustainable manner by reducing health threats and contributing to a more peaceful coexistence with the environment.