Experts in the waste management industry in Ghana say the country's overwhelming waste problem needs the support of the youth who will play an active role in cleaning and maintaining a healthy environment.
To achieve this, a youth-oriented not-for-profit organisation, Foundation for Generational Thinkers (FOGET) has organised a contest for Junior High Schools (JHS) students to promote sustainable education on the need to address poor waste management.
The contest, "FOGET-GNAPS Quiz and Challenge Competition 2018" was aimed at pushing students to address the question: "Your community has been filth-laden: Device means by which waste can be properly managed to ensure clean environment".
FOGET organised the competition in collaboration with the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), Greater Accra Zone '5' and with the support of other organisations like Ghana Ohuade Company Limited, Robertkusco Enterprise, AKAKUBI Enterprise and Bluecrest University College.
S. Sowah Boye Memorial School was adjudged winner of the competition, for proposing the most practical solution to deal with poor sanitation condition in Chorkor and its enclave.
S. Sowah Boye Memorial School stood in the contest with New Generation Preparatory School.
New Generation won second place, Joehans Academy came third, and St. Charles Preparatory School won the fourth place after they all presented their solutions on how the problem of waste should be tackled.
The four schools entered into the competition after beating over 36 schools, all drawn from GNAPS Greater Accra Zone '5' in a quiz.
The winning school received a cash prize, desktop computers, books and certificate. The first runner-up also received a cash prize, a printer, stationary and certificate. The second runner-up school received cash, printer, books and a certificate, while the school that placed fourth received various consolation prizes.
The presentations were judged by Emmanuel Addai, A Communication Specialist, who was the chair of the panel, Ama Ofori Antwi, Executive Secretary to the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) and ING. Joy Hesse Ankomah of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
According to the judges, most of the schools generalised their findings and solutions, hence failed to make their proposed solutions community-specific.
Nevertheless, they congratulated the students for putting themselves up to be tested in order to contribute their quota to national development.
The judges lauded FOGET and GNAPS for the initiative to raise awareness about filth and ignite the spirit of patriotism in the youth.
The outgoing Metro Education Director of Accra, Mr. Eugene Yeboah, charged teachers to live up to their mandates.
He said teachers are mandated to follow strict instructions to guide and instruct their students in achieving the goals and purpose of a given task.
He also congratulated the students for putting up their best to provide solutions to the poor waste management that had become like a shackle weighing the country down.
He promised to champion the programme in Denkyere East Assembly in the Central Region, where he has been appointed as the new District Chief Executive.
Prosper Dan Afetsi, President and founder of FOGET said the aim of the 'Challenge' was to help students apply the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom to solve real-life problems.
Mr. Afetsi is convinced that major development problems facing the country were as a result of students' inability to connect what they learned in the classroom to real-time challenges.