A 4-day workshop on waste management financing has opened in Accra with the objective to create stronger links between waste management projects and their financial implications in order to promote investment and financial sustainability.
The workshop is being hosted by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly ((AMA) in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and with support from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).
Mayor of Accra and Board Member of Global Covenant of Mayor's (GCoM), Mohammed Adjei Sowah, in an opening remark noted that financing waste infrastructure was one of the greatest challenges facing cities and requires large initial investment as well as adequate funds to operate what have been built.
Mayor who was recently named, among the “World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Change Policy 2019” pointed out that the real threat in waste management across Global South cities is posed by current projections for the future adding that if this continues Africa, Asia and Latin America would be submerged by waste , contaminating air , soil and water .
Mayor Sowah who is also a Vice-Chair of C40 Cities, expressed Accra's commitment to address issues relating to waste management stressing that waste collection, safe disposal and recovery in the city had improved significantly.
“With the support of our private partners, two waste transfer Stations have been constructed to improve collection and recycling, we are also collaborating with waste pickers and informal waste collectors, who have now become valuable allies in our waste management system," he said.
“Accra can boast of one of the largest Waste Recovery Parks in West Africa where we are testing the latest technologies in conjunction with private sector. In April 2019 our partners inaugurated the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP), a facility that is capable of processing 400 tons of mixed waste every day to recover 95 percent of compost and recyclables. This is in pursuit of the commitment I have made to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill by 50 percent by 2025,” he added.
Sandra Mazo-Nix, Municipal Solid Waste Initiative Coordinator at the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), advised cities to prioritize waste as it relates to all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adding that “cities must lobby in their own country so waste is included in the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to stimulate finance for waste management projects.”
This she said would go a long way to prevent plastic pollution in the oceans, prevent the spread of diseases and ultimately achieve the global climate goals, stressing that, “diverting organic waste will lower methane emissions. One third of all food is wasted every year. If food waste was its own country it would be third largest emitter of greenhouse gases like methane”.
The Deputy Regional Director of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Gifty Nadi , congratulated the City of Accra for the best practices of improving waste.
“I would like to congratulate the city of Accra for the best practices in improving the collection, safe disposal and recovery of waste in the city and for the most advanced waste processing infrastructure in West Africa,” she lauded.
The Managing Director for Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Florence Larbi admonished citizens to prioritise waste as a resource because of its future value when recovered.
“The mind set and idea we have about waste is not helping at all. If we don’t see it as a resource, much importance will not be place on it” she said.
The workshop brought together representatives from 13 cities from Addis-Ababa, Dar-es Salaam, Dhaka, Durban, Johannesburg, Lagos, Medan, Nairobi, Kampala, Sao Paolo, Tshwane, Blantyre and Accra.