Ghana to get $I.5m WB grant to tackle pollution

 The World Bank has secured a $1.5 million grant for Ghana for the imple­mentation of the “Improving Framework Conditions for Reducing Marine Litter and Pollution in Greater Accra Region.”

The grant was funded by PROBLUE, an umbrella multi-donor trust fund partnership that supports integrated and sustainable economic development in healthy ocean.

The Acting Country Manager of the World Bank, Mr Dhruval Sahai, said these in Accra yesterday at a day’s workshop meant to improve framework conditions for reducing marine litter and pollution in the Greater Accra Region.

The workshop was being organised as part of the team in charge of the project’s efforts to bring in a global know-how and hear more from stakeholders on action towards plastics pollution.

Mr Sahai said Ghana as a country has made great strides to improve plastic waste collection and management and was now serving as an example for how other countries could make progress towards a circular economy.

He said the World Bank’s twin goal of elim­inating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity in an equitable and sustainable way in line with the project since the plastic pollu­tion challenged the goals, not only by negatively impacting livelihoods like fisheries and tourism sector, but also by putting public health at stake with flooding risks exacerbated by clogged drains.

The World Bank Country Director said the COVID-19 pandemic which had resulted in a surge in single-use plastics that strained waste management efforts, further showcased the need to address the plastic issue, adding that support­ing countries in addressing plastic waste was a step-forward in meeting the twin goals with Ghana benefitting from various projects.

He said one of the projects was the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project, a $200 million investment project aimed at reducing the amount of solid waste, including plastics, flowing into the Odaw River Basin through improved solid waste man­agement and infrastructure.

“More recently another project is in prepa­ration under the West Africa Coastal Areas Programme, known as WACA which will involve targeted interventions to tackle plastic pollu­tion,” he said.

Mr Bahai said there was the need for the private sector, local NGOs and informal sector to play key roles in ensuring the success of the projects by reforming policies to create market incentives for value plastics, including extended producer responsibility and the need for greater capital investments from the private and the public sector in physical infrastructure.

Mr Oliver Boachi, Deputy Minister of Envi­ronment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) said there were many initiatives that were currently underway to deal with dimensions of plastic pollution and marine litter, adding that those initiatives were designed to complement each other, and to ensure that, there were no duplications for effective coordination.

He said all these initiatives were designed to ensure that “we are managing plastic over the full life cycle” and added that the PROBLUE was providing inspiration, especially, for the MESTI team.

Mr Baochi said the PROBLUE team had come on the mission including technical aspects on much needed policy reforms, waste manage­ment systems and education, awareness creation and community engagement.

He thanked the World Bank for initiating the workshop to ensure that everybody was “reading from the same page” to ensure the success of the project.


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