The Noble Order of the Knights of St. John International and Ladies Auxiliary in Corpus Christi Parish, Sakumono, recently invited Mr. Evans Kankam, an environmental advocate to train the cadets on how to make dustbins from plastic waste, educate and also sensitize them on the environment and its problems as part of their Parish Go Green Agenda at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Sakumono.
Ghana has been declared as the 7th dirtiest country in the world in 2015. It has been noted that human beings are the cause of the pollution within the environment. Before it can be solved, we all have to come together as patriotic citizens to find solutions to the problems we are all facing.
Mr. Evans Kankam, the founder of “Omanbapa Foundation” took the Knights of St. John International and Ladies Auxiliary and the cadets through dustbin making with plastic bottles and likewise tutored them on the behavioral change towards making mother Ghana a healthy home through environmental sensitization, waste segregation and plastic sorting.
Mr. Evans Kankam is a product of University for Development Studies, UDS. He thought it wise to come out with an idea of embarking on a sensitization movement aiming at creating awareness among schools, churches, mosque and the public at large on environmental issues, and promoting a sense of personal environment responsibility and great commitment towards the protection of the environment. He decided to develop methods such as Environmental sanitization, advocacy and education, focusing on plastic recovery which is within the waste recovery agenda, recycling and reuse-waste segregation.
Mr. Kankam indicated that our wastes become more wastes but if we segregate them we get less waste and resource such as metals, organic and plastics. According to him, plastics do not degrade but they rather tire for that matter they cause a lot of damage to the microorganisms in the soil and our underground waters. “We can sort out our problem by using plastic waste to produce other materials because waste materials can be transformed into new useful materials and products.”
Research has proven that plastic take about 70 percent of our everyday wastes which destroy the environment including water bodies. With these plastic wastes, there are useful products that can be made out from it: pavements blocks which are 80 percent plastic and 20 percent sand, dustbins from water sachets and plastic bottles, flower vases, generation of fuels and many more durable things can be produced out of plastics.
He continued that scientists made us understand that by 2050 if we continue to produce these plastics, there will be more than the fishes in the ocean
For the Parish Go Green Agenda, what they seek to do is to educate the other societies within the church on environmental sensitization, videos and social media campaign of the environment: creating awareness on social media and to setup a plastic waste recovery center in the parish to capture plastic waste within the church, school and its environs.
Mr. Peter Dery, the Deputy Director of Environment and head of Sustainable Development at Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, MESTI, who is also keen on an innovative approach to adopt lasting ways of turning plastics waste materials into items that can be reused as part of effort to create employment and improving the standards of living for Ghanaians, enlightened the cadet and his fellow Noble Order of the Knights of St. John International and Ladies Auxiliary, Corpus Christi, Sakumono on the benefits of the plastic bins.
They all participated with much interest, both young and old towards the manufacturing of the plastic bins. Some found it easy, simple and interesting with the process while others could not.
He said this during an interview “I was being touched by the encyclical written by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si which is calling all to take care of mother earth which is our common home. So in line with that I thought of going into helping solve the environmental problems that we have.”
Mr. Evans Kankam has formed a foundation called ‘Omanbapa Foundation’. What they seek to do is to cause behavioral changes among the citizenry especially the younger ones. He teaches school children how to create dustbins with plastic bottles and water sachets, flower vases and other items that were being created out of plastics. “Sometimes I do that through innovative challenges among the younger ones” he stated.
Since the establishment of the foundation in the year 2019, had been able to visit churches, 13 schools within Ashanti and Greater Accra region and also participated in 2019 Chalewote festival, were they presented their bins and other products they made from plastic waste. “I look forward to expand it and the main areas I’m aiming at is Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern Region and other parts of the country” he added.
He urged all to come together to care for Ghana our common home “if you have a better environment, we will all have a healthy environment and a better place for ourselves through environmental sensitization, waste reduction, recovery and recycling ”.
By Theresa Kpordzo
DEPSOCOM News, Accra