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Informal waste workers appeal for PPEs

Informal Waste Workers have appealed to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to distribute some personal protective equipment (PPEs) allocated to their members to support their work.

The waste workers said working without PPEs such as overalls, safety boots, reflectors, and helmets exposed them to danger because of the toxic substances they encounter on the field.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Madam Lydia Bamfo, President Informal Waste Workers, said their members played vital role in waste management and that supporting the group would develop the sector.

The Informal Waste Workers have more than 7,000 members across the country, with about 5,000 operating in Accra.

Ms Bamfo said one of the main challenges facing informal waste workers was the lack of recognition from authorities and the public for their work.

She said streets and households would have been inundated with extreme plastic waste but for the work of informal waste workers who were present in many communities.

old women who collect plastic waste for recycling should be provided with protective clothes and reflectors so that drivers would identify them properly on the road in the course of their work,’ she said.

‘It is dangerous for waste workers who are working hard to collect plastic waste for recycling to operate without any form of protection in spite of the significance of their work,’ Ms Bamfo added.

Ms Bamfo said the group found it difficult to secure licenses for its members who cart waste using tricycles.

She called for the implementation of targeted programmes that would train the tricycle riders to ensure their safety in the line of duty.

It is estimated that just 10 per cent of the one million tonnes of plastics produced in Ghana each year get recycled, while the remaining nine per cent get out into the ocean.

As part of the Anti-incineration Plastic Pollution Campaign, the Informal Waste Workers in collaboration with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, and the C40 Cities is implementing a one-year ins
urance programme, targeting 200 informal waste workers.

Mr Max H. Jumbo, General Secretary, Informal Waste Workers, said their members operated in risky circumstances and required some form of financial protection.

He said the insurance scheme would provide some cushion for the waste workers to execute their duty ‘in a very good condition.’

‘The money the informal waste collectors make is sometimes not enough to cater for their needs. We have confidence that the insurance will cater for them during an emergency,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency