Perennial flooding: Government lacks political will to ban plastics, says expert

Over the weekend, parts of Accra were flooded because of drains choked with plastics, making it difficult for motorists to access certain principal streets after more than 12 hours of torrential rain from Saturday into Sunday

Issaka Amon Kotei, a local governance expert, has said the present and successive previous governments lack the political will to ban single-use plastics from Ghana, which is contributing to the perennial flooding problem in the country.

Over the weekend, parts of the capital, Accra, became flooded because of drains which are choked with plastics, making it difficult for motorists to access certain principal streets after more than 12 hours of torrential rain that ran from Saturday night to Sunday morning.

The downpour produced gridlock and heavy traffic in many parts of the city on Saturday evening, and left commuters stranded at lorry parks and bus stops.

Talking to Kwaku Nhyira-Addo on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Monday (23 May), Kotei said: “[In] our next-door country [in] Abidjan, no one uses sachet … there is nothing like [plastic water] sachets in Abidjan.

“They produce the sachet material and come and sell it to us here, because somebody will tell you it will cut off employment.”

He added: “I don’t know, but the central government – I don’t want to be hard on them, but they don’t have the political will to tackle any situation. It is only situations that will give them votes.”

Listen to Issaka Amon Kotei in the audio clip attached below:



Ghana will not ban plastics

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, has said the government does not have any immediate plans to ban the use of single-use plastics in Ghana.

He said that instead, it will promote other materials which are reusable and not “too harsh” on the environment.

Speaking at a ministerial press briefing in Accra on 4 May 2022, the minister said: “As I speak, we are not going to ban plastics. We are going to reduce them. We are going to extend their life[span].

“When you’re talking about recycling, actually, it’s like an extended use, and then end of use we can turn them into other ways.

“So we have a model even about the plastics. Then, of course, we’ll promote other reusable materials which are not too … harsh on our environment.”

He added, “… if you’re doing plastic recycling, the conventional wisdom is that you take the plastic that has been dumped and remould [it] … You may need 30% of virgin plastics to prime them so that they can have that kind of rigidity. So we are not going to ban plastics importation …”

Watch the press briefing by Kwaku Afriyie below:

Fred Dzakpata

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