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Mismanagement of waste is key in under-development of W/A- Lecturer   
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A senior researcher and co-ordinator at the Centre for School and Community Science and Technology Studies of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) has noted that the poor management of waste in West Africa is contributing to under-development.

Professor Kolawole Raheem said improper management of waste, collection and disposal was rapidly increasing the rate of environmental degradation and pollution in the sub-region.

He was speaking at a public lecture on the topic: “Environmental Issues in Africa: Challenges and Prospects of Waste Management in West Africa,” in Winneba.

It was jointly organised and sponsored by the Office for Institutional Advancement of the UEW and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The lecture sought to among other things, deal with the alienation of local values, philosophy of waste according to the local people and the lack in developing the indigenous methods of environmental management.

Prof Raheem said most cities in West Africa were the dirtiest in the world because the collection, treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste were not properly handled.

He called for a holistic and a life cycle approach that involves environmental stakeholders to deal with the menace.

Prof Raheem also stressed the need for community supported waste management that would make citizens believe and see themselves as part of the environment.

The Professor said it was imperative to set up an ECOWAS institute of environmental management with a major department for waste management as well as an environmental education in schools that includes environmental philosophy and psychology.

He argued that proper waste management in West Africa could become a lucrative business that would help in the improvement of health and the economy in general.

A member of the Council of State, Lt General Arnold Quainoo (Rtd), asked the university to create a separate department to cater for environmental and waste management issues and send a proposal to government for the needed support.

General Quainoo urged the university to lead the crusade to ensure sanitation sustainability in the Winneba Township.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw observed that the behaviour of humankind have adversely impacted on the environment and stressed the need to inculcate environmental awareness into children so that they could contribute to cleanliness.

The Chief of Ajumako-Ankobea, Nana Ankamu Otabil IX called on traditional rulers to be part of the crusade towards environmental cleanliness and reiterated the need for a holistic education that would change the attitudes of Ghanaians on waste management.

In a welcoming address, the Registrar of the University, Mr Christopher Akwaa-Mensah called for academic and intellectual discussion on waste management in Ghana and the West African sub-region.
Source: GNA

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