The Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) partners have introduced the Community-led Environment and Beach Improvement and School Sanitation (CLEBISS) project in a bid to curb the rampant pollution of the environment.
An Ellen MacArthur Foundation report notes that the ocean is filled with about 165 million tons of plastic and by the 2050, plastics in the ocean would outweigh fishes if corrective measures are not taken.
The move by the TEN partners is to help create the needed awareness among all stakeholders on education, policy implementation, law enforcement and investment in environmental management intervention programmes.
The CLEBISS project, which is being implemented by the Opportunity Industrialisation Centre International, had so far built the capacity of 130 community volunteers, 28 chief fishermen, and 29 assembly members in 29 project communities.
Mrs. Korkor Ohene-Djan, Project Advisor, Tullow Oil Company said: “Maintaining a healthy community is imperative for the survival and welfare of the human race. This is why through the partners’ social intervention programmes have selected the six coastal districts of the Western Region to focus on promoting environmental protection, prevention of ocean pollution and beach improvement, waste management and support for the ecosystem and animal life along the coast through the CLEBISS project.”
Mrs. Ohene-Djan said the CLEBISS project was designed to empower community members with information and activities on environmental management practices, climate change and environmental sanitation with the objective of taking actions to improve the landscape and beach environment using community initiated innovations and approaches.
“Our aim is to empower 40,000 community members and 16,000 school children to adopt environmental management practices as well as end open defecation and improve on hygiene practices…this will positively contribute to the overall health and living standard of the communities within the six coastal district,” she said.
The Project Advisor said volunteers had been trained and were to carry out behaviour change communication activities and education, engage various community groups, associations, churches, mosques, schools and other youth groups.
The project also seeks to establish school health clubs, ambassadors as well as training and usage of WASH facilities.
Mr. George Dorgbetor, Project Manager at the OIC, said the project would work closely with planning officers, environmental and heads of religious institutions.
“We have also trained heads of basic schools and their school-based health coordinators in 21 schools including Directors of Education and SHEP Coordinators in the six coastal districts.”
He added that already, some schools and communities had been supported with equipment to clean up and promote hygiene behaviours in schools.
Mr. Dorgbetor said communities such as New Takoradi, Ngieresia, Ebusie and Aboadze were typical models for the cleaner beaches and environment project.
The Project Coordinator said maintaining the well-being of people, animals, plants and the standards of basic environmental conditions was very essential to the development and growth of society and for sustainable development.