Ban manufacture of plastics— GhIE  Prez tells gov’t

Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Snr. Minister (2nd left), congratulating Ing. Steve Amoaning Yankson for a good presentation. On the right is Dr. Abu Sakara and Ing. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong on the extreme left.

The President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), Ing. Steve Amoaning Yankson, has called on government and Parliament to institute steps to ban the manufacture of plastics as has been done in other parts of Africa.

Ing. Amoaning made this call when he delivered the 49th Presidential Address of the Ghana Institution of Engineering in Accra on Monday, November 19, 2018 at the Engineering Centre, Accra.

The country has struggled to make significant progress in the area of sanitation – registering access of between 6% to 15% over a 15-year period.

Consequently, Ghana still remains among the bottom-7 countries in the world with the worst access to improved sanitation.

Speaking on the theme ‘Engineering Effective Delivery in Sanitation’, Ing. Amoaning – who incidentally is an expert in the field of sanitation – said: “We all agree that recycling has tremendous benefits and must be encouraged. However, it appears the real culprit of the plastic menace is being let off the hook.

“We have been coerced into accepting individual responsibility for a problem we have little control over. At some point, we need to address the source of the problem – which is the manufacturers of plastic products. Why should such major polluters be let off the hook and the burden placed on consumers?” Ing. Amoaning asked.

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He therefore called on Members of Parliament and all opinion leader to change direction and tackle the problem from its source.

“If the plastic manufacturers are not ready to accept their responsibilities, then we have no option but to call on government to ban the manufacture of plastics as has been done in the cleanest country in Africa, Rwanda,” he suggested.

The occasion’s Chairman, Dr. Abu Sakara – 2012 Presidential Candidate for the CPP, in his opening remarks used a quotation from the Bible; stating that “If ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ is anything to go by, then Ghanaians are far away from God”.

Recounting the major contributions Ing. Yankson made to the sanitation sector in Tanzania, where both worked as expatriates, he called on our governments to give similar opportunities for Ghanaian Engineers to contribute to development of the country as they do for other countries when engaged by them.

The Executive Director of GhIE, Ing. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, in his welcome address expressed the view that a skilled indigenous engineering workforce is required to drive the transformation agenda of Ghana – adding that most challenges we face as a developing country are engineering-related.

Ing. Agyepong said the GhIE is determined to ensure that the standards, regulations and guidelines governing engineering practice in the country are strictly enforced. He admonished all firms, both local and foreign, which engage Engineering practitioners in the country to comply with the Engineering Council Act,2011(Act 819) by ensuring these persons are duly certified to practice and are of good standing with the GhIE.

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The Special Guest of honour, Ing. Yaw Osafo Maafo, who is a Fellow of the GhIE and an Engineer of good standing with the Institution, expressed delight with the good presentation by Ing. Yankson and called on all professional bodies in the country to emulate this example by GhIE to tackle issues confronting the nation.

He shared the view that Ghana’s problems are all engineering problems. He suggested that the sanitation challenge must be financed by revenue realised from property rates in the country; but he was quick to state that it’s woefully inadequate in terms of collections.

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