The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in collaboration with The Or Foundation, Ghana and USA-based non-governmental organisation has sensitised the Kantamanto Market Community and the public on the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
The EPR is an environmental policy and a form of product stewardship that extends a producer’s responsibility for a product to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life-cycle, and is about paying for waste management, incentivizing companies to design better (more eco-friendly) products, while increasing recycling rates.
The event was also used for the signing of a resolution by the Kantamanto traders, especially second-hand cloth dealers to support the campaign on “Stop the Waste Colonialism” by preventing the export of waste clothing into the country.
The resolution states that; “We have until June 1, 2023 to stop the EU from writing Waste Colonialism into Law,” which is to “Show the world that Kantamanto is actively fighting back.”
It added; “Grow a network of advocates, committed to putting Kantamanto’s concerns and reality front and centre; ensure that our position paper is prioritized in all discussions related to EPR; and shape EU EPR Policy to benefit Kantamanto and communities like it.”
Madam Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive in an address enumerated some of the problems caused by the textile waste such as the damage to the compact waste collection vehicles, choking of drains and the cost of transportation of waste.
“I am pleading with you that, now that we have The Or Foundation who are in to support us to get rid of textile wastes and unwanted substandard materials causing the problems; we need to assist them by signing the resolution to help to stop the waste colonialism for us to live comfortably,” she stated.
Madam Sackey reminded the public that a Sanitation Court had been set up to deal with those who flouts the AMA sanitation by-laws and cautioned that the Assembly would not entertain any intervention from any quarters when offenders were arrested for prosecution.
Madam Liz Richetts, a Co-founder and Director of The Or Foundation in an interview with the Ghana News Agency stated that the organisation was established about 12 years ago and was the facilitator of Stop Waste Colonialism Campaign.
She said Kantamanto was being used as the driving force stating that; “We are demanding that the Kantamanto community be given the respect they owned and resources they deserve.”
Speaking to some of the Kantamanto second-hand cloth dealers they stated that some of the bales they purchased contained a lot of waste clothing, which gave huge financial burden to them and that The Or Foundation coming on board would be of great relief to them.
They demanded that the financial support being provided by the second-hand cloth exporting countries should be extended to them to alleviate their sufferings.