There is a weighty link between health and the environment. Health outcomes are linked to environmental risks such as poor quality of air, exposure to hazardous waste and chemicals as well as climate change.
To successfully tackle health challenges, we must also address matters environment. For example, to defeat malaria and tuberculosis and many non-communicable diseases, we must address environmental issues that make mosquitoes thrive and address the challenge of pollution.
Plastic pollution has become a major development challenge across the world. In Ghana, statistics from UNDP show that the country generates about 1 million tons of plastic waste annually. Out of this, only 2-5% are recycled.
Young Awareness Advocates Ghana, groomed by Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a member of GFAN Africa focused on empowering women, children and youth have committed to help promote a sustainable environment by reducing the amount of waste they generate, both at home and in school.
“Reduce, reuse, recycle,” was the theme when advocates met the UNAIDS Ghana Country Director, Angela Trenton-Mbonde, in Accra, Ghana. The advocates took turns to make personal pledges to adopt better waste management practices in order to promote environmental sustainability.
“I commit to acquiring a personal reusable water bottle and to avoiding single-use plastic bottles. This, I believe, will safeguard the planet for everyone,” Pricilla Addo said.
Samuel Nyarko said “I pledge to personally ensure that waste generated in my household is well separated so that plastics can easily be collected and recycled. I will educate my schoolmates and community to do the same.”
Ms. Trenton-Mbonde encouraged the young people to ensure that their commitments to the planet are fulfilled. “For a sustainable environment, each of us must take personal responsibility and make one commitment, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem in the beginning, because in the end we are all connected: people and the planet,” she said.
UNAIDS Ghana Country Director, Angela Trenton-Mbonde speaks to meeting participants
Climate action advocates pose for a photo with the Executive Director of HFFG Ghana Ms. Cecilia Senoo (4th from right)