Give your time, Lift your country, Save your planet

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As conscious citizens we all have our dissatisfactions with the way things are. We wish laws were better enforced, we wish there was better employment for the youth, we just wish government would do better! Well, while we wait on the president and parliamentarians to get their act together, the opportunity has come for us to contribute our own part. The development of our nation is the collective responsibility of everyone, not just politicians. The Ghana Think Foundation has decided to use this year’s Founder’s Day (which celebrates the birthday of Ghana’s legendary first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah) to emulate just what he would want, it is now National Volunteer Day.

Volunteer day

The Ghana Think Foundation have christened Saturday, September, 21st, 2013 as National Volunteer day and you’d be doing yourself a great disservice not to participate. There’s even a promotional video. Check it out!

With this spirit of volunteerism, there are events springing up all over and yes, we will present to you the greenest of them.

Greening the Nkwantanang School

Kuukuwa Manful, a budding architect and member of the Ghana Think Foundation group is organizing an event to make the Nkwantanang Cluster of Schools in Madina, Accra a greener place for its students. With all volunteers that show up, she plans to build a playground, paint and plant some flowers using recycled materials. You can read more about her event here.

Playtime in Africa: Plant a Park!

Playtime in Africa

This event is being organized by the Mmofra Foundation which hosts cultural initiatives tailored to children. They have been working to create a children’s park which was inspired by Efua T. Sutherland’s photo essay in the 1960s which captured children’s play in Ghana. They will be painting, digging, planting, etc to create park areas for children. It will be from 12pm to 4am in Dzorwulu in Accra. Find out more here.

There will be Green Ghanaian representatives at both of these events. We couldn’t pass this great opportunity up.

So give your time this Saturday to lift your country… and save your planet. You owe it to generations of the future.

Rain, Rain Please (Don’t) Go Away

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As important as rain is for watering crops and replenishing our ground water it can also have devastating effects in our more urbanized areas.  Places that were meant to be open spaces for the water to collect and seep into the ground slowly have been cemented over causing runoff and erosion.  Gutters and infrastructure that was meant to carry water away from developed areas have become cluttered with trash and only assist in causing more flooding. Poorly constructed and maintained buildings can succumb to the rain when water seeps into cracks or washes away foundations and roofs.

Last month, according to Mr. Vanderpuije, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Accra (was) ready for (the) impending floods – if everyone pitches in and helps keep areas clear of litter.  Other government officials spoke out about the upcoming raining season including the Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing who toured areas within the AMA.

Since the onset of the rains, many have been displaced and millions of cedis worth of property has also been lost. The season began with the loss of four lives in Yendi, some of which were struck by lightening.   In Nwanta, near Kyekyewere in the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipality, 100 residents were displaced. Although no deaths were recorded, losses were valued at GHȼ100,000.  11 soldiers and their families in Ho were displaced by a rainstorm when it ripped off the roofs of their buildings. Fishermen in Winneba and its surroundings lost about GH¢200,000 worth of fishing equipment including twenty-two canoes and fishing nets.  Parts of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis flooded, affecting the suburbs of Tanokrom, Anaji West, Namibia, Cocoa Villa, Egyinabowa-Kakam and Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital roundabout. After the downpour these residents were notified by NADMO that there would be no compensation for them due to a lack of funds at the organisation.  And finally, the residents of Bortianor, Lower Weija, Lower Oblogo, Lower McCarthy, Sapema, Tsokome, and Tetegu, as well as Pambros Salt Manufacturing Limited and Bojo Beach have been warned and some evacuated due to the spilling of excess water by the Ghana Urban Water Company Limited (GUWL) from the Weija Dam to avoid permanent damage to Accra’s only water treatment plant.

How have you been impacted by the rainy season?

Its World Environment Day! Think.Eat.Save.

WED2013

Today is World Environment Day (WED) and we here at Green Ghanaian are taking the opportunity to shine light on the theme for this year and discuss how it applies to us here in West Africa.


A brief history

UNEP

World Environment Day celebrations started in 1972 by the United Nations. Its used to ‘stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment and encourage political attention and action’.

It has been celebrated in Ghana over the past few years with themes like “Many Species, One Ghana, One Future” in 2010,  Forests: nature at your service in 2011 and  “Green Economy: Does it include you?”  last year.

The global theme for this year’s celebration is Think.Eat.Save. It’s a campaign by the UN Environment Programme against food waste and food loss. “According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted.” One thing the campaign seeks to emphasize is that “if food is wasted, it means that all the resources and inputs used in the production of all the food are also lost.” This is a serious implication considering the fact that “global food production occupies 25% of all habitable land and is responsible for 70% of fresh water consumption, 80% of deforestation, and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.” A timely theme indeed!


Why Ghanaians should Think.Eat.Save.

tz with maabena

This current global theme of Think.Eat.Save. is an interesting one. It is mainly a western world problem to have people throwing lots of food away. Here in Ghana many homes feed whatever food scraps they have left over to their livestock. Also, we don’t have laws that impede the sale of fruits and vegetables that don’t look perfect as many European countries do. One issue we truly do have is the lack of storage facilities for harvested crops and poor road networks from the farming communities to commercial towns and cities. This is what accounts for most of our food waste and can result in unnecessary shortage of food. I think that government should recommit to solving these issues. Not only for the good of the environment but also for the progress of our economy.


World Environment Day Ghana Style

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Looking for something to do locally? According to the UNEP website, there are a few events happening in Ghana.

In Accra, the Green Earth Organization will have a press conference and tree planting exercise.

In Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region, Greenlove Ghana will be planting mango seedlings along the banks of the Pumpum stream (the main water source for the Kintampo waterfalls). They will also clean the surroundings of the waterfalls. Mango seedlings will be distributed to schools in the Kintampo township to promote environmental ethics in the students.

In Tema, the Environmental Health Club will have an Eco-Health Awareness Walk. With banners and placards, the Hon. Kofi Brako, the Member of Parliament for Tema Central will lead their campaign to promote plastic waste separation and recycling.

In the eastern region, the Okyenhene (Chief of Okyeman) Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin chairs the Okyeman Environment Foundation which is celebrating Okyeman Environment Week in the Apinaman/Dwenase Traditional Areas of the Denkyembour District of Akyem Abuakwa. They will climax the week with an environment durbar on Thursday, June 6, 2013 to mark today’s World Environment Day (WED). Their week included tree-planting exercises, educational workshops from the EPA and forestry services division as well as a children’s environment bazaar. Its particularly worth noting that they have themed their celebration differently that what is being used globally: “Promoting Sustainable Use of Natural Resources”. I think this is commendable of the chief considering the fact that it resonates much stronger with environmental issues faced in the Eastern Region such as illegal mining and land grabs
So, get out there and participate if you have the chance. And if not, participate on social media. Use the hashtags #WED2013 and #KeepGhanaGreen to voice your opinions and reflect on the state of our country’s environment. The theme calls for a push from us…How does Think.Eat.Save. apply to where you live or your lifestyle?? Our environmental problems range from deforestation to illegal mining to coastal pollution and impacts of climate change. Have your say.

#WorldEnvironmentDay

#WED2013

#KeepGhanaGreen

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