Pupils of Gorogo Primary School in the Talensi District of the Upper have initiated a campaign to recycle plastics and cloth material waste as part of efforts to protect the environment from pollution.

It was also part of strategies to curb climate change challenges such as desertification, drought, and floods to preserve the environment.

The pupils are members of Eco-club, a group of pupils established by the Forum for Natural Regeneration (FONAR), an environmentally focused organisation to champion environmental issues in their school and their communities.

The pupils have also been trained among other things to employ the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) approaches to fight environmental challenges such as land degradation, bushfires, deforestation, among others.

As part of innovations, the pupils recycled plastic waste shields into skipping ropes, key holders, and massage therapy for feet, also turned waste cloth materials into door mats, and recycled waste rubbers into floppy balls and com
bined them with straws to make baskets.

The initiative, which was in recognition of World Environment Day and with support from the Awaken Trees Foundation of Austria, was held on the theme ‘Turning plastic water sachet waste into wealth.’

It is aimed at protecting the environment while creating future employable skills for the youth.

Madam Mary Adongo Afore, the Eco-club Coordinator, said while the initiative would help keep the environment clean, it would also serve as a source of employment for the youth and called on the eco-club members to take the initiative seriously by paying attention to the economic aspect of it.

Mr Christopher Pubeng, Assistant Programme Officer, FONAR, noted that the initiative would not only address the problem of desertification and drought but was also contributing significantly towards climate justice aimed at creating a thriving environment for even generations unborn.

He indicated that the Upper East Region was the most prone to drought and desertification in Ghana due
to the increasing land degradation, excessive heat and climate change, and the initiative, when well-handled, coupled with the practice of FMNR concept and tree planting to restore degraded landscapes and mitigate the impact of climate change.

Mr Pubeng underscored the need for the public to reduce the amount of waste produced, emphasising that plastic pollution does not only contribute to greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing but also during plastic waste management.

‘Burning plastic waste and landfill decomposition of plastics release harmful gases into the atmosphere, further contributing to more severe and frequent droughts, heat waves, and other climate conditions that promote desertification,’ he stated.

He commended the eco club members and their teachers for taking the initiative to improve waste management practices in their school and the community and called on others to adopt the initiative by way of managing their waste.

Madam Ernestina Yaani, the headmistress of the school, thanked F
ONAR and its donors for their commitment to preserving the environment by restoring degraded landscapes through the FMNR concept.

FONAR is a Ghanaian environmentally focused non-governmental organisation that promotes ecological restoration, especially on degraded lands, for improved livelihoods and poverty reduction among rural smallholder farmers.

The organization, in 2021, with support from the awaken Trees Foundation, Austria, formed eco-clubs in 15 primary schools of the Talensi District and trained the pupils to play a crucial role in restoring degraded lands and fighting environmental challenges in their schools and communities.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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