Pure Earth calls for action on environmental health risks


marks World Earth Day

Government has been asked to prioritise policies that help protect the environment and safety of people as the world marks Earth Day.

Country Director for Pure Earth Ghana, a civil society group that works in the area of lead and mercury poisoning advocacy, made the call when he spoke at a durbar for students and teachers of the Labone Senior High School in Accra.

“In Ghana, a variety of pressing issues make this Day an important one, especially around this time. The world is faced with a climate crisis with its attendant concerns for safety of the earth and the people who live on it. Pollution in all forms, is at an all-time high with Accra, the country’s capital, recording air quality that is 49.6 times higher than the WHO annual air quality guideline value,” he said.

The Day was marked at the school to enable the organisation take advantage of the large population of young people within the country’s second cycle institutions. More than 200 students attended the durbar with teaching and non-teaching staff.

“We at Pure Earth Ghana have been working since 2020 on drawing attention to key environmental challenges like lead and mercury pollution across the country. Through our work with partners like the Ghana Health Service and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we are working to address some of these environmental challenges.

“Through Pure Earth’s Toxic Site Identification Project (TSIP), we have discovered 205 toxic sites across the country with excessive heavy metal pollution such as Lead and Mercury. This has serious consequences for the health of citizens, especially children and young people,” Mr. Quansah said.

Wilson Baku, Technical Project Director at Pure Earth Ghana, spent time to outline some of the popular practices in our daily lives which could be a source of lead-poisoning. He spoke about the use of some cooking utensils, broken-down car batteries that are not well taken care of among others.

Assistant Headmistress of Labone SHS, Adelaide Boye, bemoaned the need for students to keep the highest standards of personal hygiene in order to protect themselves from such hazards. She also called for young people to play their own roles within their communities to help protect the environment. This year’s World Earth Day was marked around the theme ‘Invest in our Planet’.

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