• Fisherfolks say plastic waste is affecting their trade
• The team lead for Clean Beach at CODA has called on Assemblies to regularly clean up beaches
• Mr Konadu has argued that local communities alone cannot clear the waste on our shorelines
Team lead for Clean Beach at the Coastal Development Authority, Micheal Konadu, has charged local assemblies to organise regular beach clean-ups to help deal with plastic waste on our shorelines.
According to Mr Konadu, the huge sums of waste heaped along coastal areas are mostly generated upstream and therefore must be the responsibility of the assemblies to clean up these public beaches.
Speaking in a GhanaWeb Special report on the effect of plastic waste on fisherfolks in Ghana, he charged the appropriate authorities to step up efforts, by incorporating beach cleanups in our environmental sanitation programme.
“We have to accept that this is a menace that has come to stay and we have to do something about it. The responsible public authority should do something about it. What is happening is that some good-spirited people once in while get together to do something about it but it is not in our regular public programme to clean up. It should become part of our regular environmental sanitation programme. In the same way we clean markets and other public places, we should take up the responsibility to cleaning the beaches, especially public beaches.
“The assemblies for those areas must make adequate budget allocations to these things and organize programmes to clean up…until we mainstream the clean up of beaches, the problem will remain with us,” he stated.
Mr Konadu further argued that local communities cannot single-handedly ensure that our coastal areas are kept in good condition. He is therefore calling on assemblies to add the state of beaches to their yearly assessment.
“I really don’t think that the local communities should bear the responsibility. Most of the litter comes from upstream… they cannot continuously be cleaning up for the guys upstream. CODA is currently planning a project to piloting a sustainable clean beach programme. The idea is to set a benchmark for others to see what could be done,” he told GhanaWeb.
Fisherfolks at the Korle Gonno beach, in an interaction with our reporter, Paulina Dedaa Opoku, noted that they catch more plastics than fishes when they go fishing.
“They are not doing anything about it for us and you see, when they finish eating, they throw the garbage into the sea. It is washed ashore making it very difficult anytime we go to sea. We have spoken about it severally but no one is paying attention to us. You have seen it for yourself how the sea looks; rubbish collectors also throw the rubbish they collect into the gutters as well as the sea and so the sea waves bring back all the dirt,” Ibrahim Moli, a fisherman at Korle Gonne beach told GhanaWeb.
Also, a resident at Korle Gonno revealed that the community dump waste generated in their homes into the sea as there are no available waste cans in the area.
“We need a container, also the people responsible for collecting the waste must provide us with cans. Since we have a container and nowhere to dispose our refuse, the sea is our only option. We need a container where we can put all our rubbish and a truck that will convey it anytime it is full so that this place can look like any other sea,” she added.