Ghana, like many other countries, has failed to tackle the issue of plastic waste. The challenge has led to tons of plastic materials ending up in the sea and other water bodies.
The effect of plastic waste is gradually affecting fisherfolk who say there are more plastic than fishes in the sea.
One will be dismayed by the tons of plastic waste on some shorelines in Ghana. In an interaction with fishermen, on this series of GhanaWeb Special, they told reporter, Paulina Dedaa Opoku, that strict measures needed to be rolled out to have the beaches clean.
“We can’t get a lot of fish when we go fishing…as for the rubbish, it is not from here. It is from Konkoma, Kanashie and the Circle gutters that run through into the Korle gutter. We are pleading with you to tell Akufo-Addo to give out monies to people who will be collecting the rubbish anytime they come. So far, it is just one container that has been put here, and even with that one, anytime it gets full and it’s been taken away, it takes a while before a new one is brought back,” said Nii Teiko, a fisherman at the Korle Gonno beach.
A report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) estimates that there will be over 17.5 million tonnes of plastic in the ocean per year by 2025 if we don’t stop dumping waste into it.
Currently, the oceans receive about 13 million tonnes of plastic each year. The situation is worst in Ghana, as some individuals continue to dump their refuse into water bodies located in their communities which finally find their way into the sea.
“When we come here, we don’t get the quantity of fish we want because of the plastic waste… when they go fishing, they don’t get plenty of fish as we want to buy. It is affecting them a lot… fish is expensive, when they make a huge catch, the price will reduce,” said Naa Odey Hammond, a fishmonger.
Bright Deblor, a member of Sea2Sea Foundation an NGO that has been organizing beach cleanups also lamented about the large sums of plastics washed ashore. “I will plead with the government to help the coastal communities to find a solution to it because I can say it’s not their fault and they also complain. We can clean this place but before a week the plastics come back,” he cried.
The team lead of Clean Beaches at the Coastal Development Authority (CODA), Micheal Konadu, speaking to GhanaWeb called for an all hands on deck approach, especially at the local Assembly level.
“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. In the same way we clean markets and other public places, we should take up the responsibility to clean up 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 clean up of beaches, the problem will remain with us,” he stated.
Watch the video below: