As part of their contribution to the global fight against environmental, water and sanitation challenges, Tullow, Kosmos, Anadarko oil companies and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), have distributed cleanup implements like wheelbarrows, and hand-washing containers to 130 volunteers in Sekondi.
The exercise forms part of the Community Led Environment and Beach Improvement and School Sanitation Project (CLEBISS).
It is part of plans to improve the health and well-being of the six coastal areas in the Western Region.
The six districts are Nzema East, Ellembelle, Jomoro, Shama, Ahanta West and Sekondi-Takoradi.
The Environmental Health Officer of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Abdul Karimu Hudu, said communities like Nkontompo, Ngyerisia, and Sekondi, do not have adequate equipment for cleaning.
He expressed the hope that the CLEBISS project will complement the low human resource strength of the Environmental Health Unit.
He also commended the TEN partners for the gesture.
It is estimated that about 32 percent of plastic packaging end up in the sea and other water bodies.
Global use of plastics has increased by 20 fold over the past 50 years, and is expected to double again in the next 20 years according to the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation report.
The report projects the oceans will contain at least 937 million tons of plastic by 2050.
The Project Manager of Opportunities Industrialization Centres International (OICI), George Dorgbetor, said various communities like Ngyerisia, New Takoradi, Half Assini and all others along the 27 project communities, lack clean up implements hence this support by the TEN partners as part of the CLEBISS project.
Mr. Dorgbetor said the residents of most communities have the enthusiasm for a cleaner environment, but lack the necessary implements, hence the presentation by the TEN partners.
He said due to the low revenue capacity of the various assemblies; they are unable to meet that enthusiasm with actual work.
He added that in the engagement as part of the project, it was realized that there was a need for households to own their toilets to stop open defecation.
The Assembly Member for Poasi Upper New Takoradi, Samuel Kobina Amissah (Jnr), a CLEBISS volunteer, said “my community is unable to fully participate in the sanitation clean-up exercise by the metropolitan assembly which falls on the 3rd Saturday of every month, as there are not enough implements. And even if there are, they are weak due to overuse and you always have to go for it at the sub-metro at your expense”
The Social Performance Adviser of Tullow Ghana, Korkor Ohene Gyan, commended the volunteers for their enthusiasm and said the next phase of the project would involve an oil spill training in the form of simulation exercises.
So far, the CLEBISS project implemented by OIC International has built the capacity of 130 community volunteers, 28 chief fishermen and 29 assembly members in 27 project communities.