Kumasi, April 27, GNA – The government is implementing integrated and environmentally sound management solutions to help improve the collection, transportation and safe disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) in the country.
The project, which is being implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the National Integrated E-Waste Management Scheme (NIEMS), will also explore the development and strengthening of value chains to demonstrate solutions for larger private sector engagement on e-waste management.
Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Executive Director of EPA, announced this at the launch of the Africa Environmental Health Pollution Management Project (AEHPMP) in Kumasi for artisanal small scale miners.
The project, he said, would also seek to develop an integrated e-waste management system to prevent mercury and unintentional persistent organic pollutants (uPOP) releases into the environment especially from the current e-waste dismantling practices in the informal sector.
It will further disseminate information on the state-of-the-art knowledge and best practices to reduce harmful e-waste emissions.
Dr Kokofu pointed out that, the implementation of the project, coupled with the passage of the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act, 2016 ( Act 917) and its corresponding Legal Instrument (LI) 2250, were also in place to ensure efficient control and management of e-waste.
He said the informal and unregulated nature of mercury use and other illegal activities created severe irreversible environmental and health damage, adding that mercury contamination could have serious economic consequences to the lucrative local and regional fisheries, due to the potential health risks associated with its bio-accumulation.
It was therefore important to develop and implement priority projects to help reduce and where feasible, eliminate mercury use, especially in artisanal gold mining.
Mr Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director, said environmental degradation and unsustainable natural resource use posed significant risk to future economic growth as well as threat to public ecosystem health.
He therefore pledged the World Bank’s commitment to supporting Ghana to address environmental challenges by investing in pro-growth, pro-poor and pro-environmental policies and projects aimed at protecting the environment.
Achamfour Asafo Boakye Agyemang-Bonsu, Asantehene’s Akwamuhene, urged the project coordinators to incorporate traditional authorities into the project implementation to enable them use their influence to educate the people in the communities to ensure the success of the project.
Mr Samuel Oteng, Ashanti Regional Director of EPA, on his part said EPA would continue to work assiduously to ensure that the use of mercury and disposal of e-waste were regulated to protect the health of the current and future generations.