On Saturday 15 September, hundreds of volunteers are cleaning the streets of Accra as part of the World Cleanup Day 2018. One of the organizations showing its support is Green Stewardship International (GSI), a Christian environmental NGO founded in Ghana in 2015. GSI is motivated by the Christian principle of stewardship and believes caring for the environment is a practical way of loving one’s neighbors. Waste management is one of the issues GSI is working on, and the organization is participating in World Cleanup Day is a way of raising awareness about the severe consequences of solid waste, not only in Accra but in the country as a whole.
From World Environmental Day (5 June 2018), which was dubbed “Beat plastic pollution”, to World Cleanup day, one message is central: that it is time to go back to the basic virtue of cleanliness and stewardship of our common environment. As the old adage also says, cleanliness is next to godliness. We are convinced that care for the environment is the key to sustaining all the goals outlined in the Agenda for Sustainable Development (also known as Agenda 2030), for example Goal
6: Water and sanitation, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities, and Goal
14: Healthy oceans. The solid waste released into our streets is not just an aesthetic problem, but it poses a threat to city dwellers through flooding induced by clogged gutters. It also threatens marine life as plastics and other solid waste eventually end up in the open sea.
As exemplified by the partnership demonstrated by Let’s do it Ghana, Green Stewardship International, Zoomlion and all the participating organizations, we want to drive home this message clearly: it is time for collective action to save our environment from further degradation.
We are calling on all civil society groups, churches and other religious groups, state agencies, embassies, companies and citizens to rise up to help manage our environment. Our very life and national economy depend on it.
• Ghana loses GHC420 million annually due to poor sanitation (Source: Water and Sanitation Program 2012).
• The economic impact of not investing in water and sanitation costs 4,3 percent of Sub-Saharan GDP (Source: UN Sustainable Development Goals).
• More than 80 % of waste water resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any treatment, leading to pollution (Source: UN Sustainable Development Goals).
• Every year 8 million tons of plastic enter our oceans, threatening marine and human life (Source: World Environmental Day 2018).
• Every year, marine litter costs USD13 billion through its adverse effects on fisheries, tourism, and biodiversity. The overall social and environmental cost, globally, of plastic pollution is USD139 billion every year (Source: The Economist 2018).
• Unless we take action, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050 (Source: UNEP).
About Green Stewardship International
Green Stewardship International (GSI) is an environmental non-governmental organization founded in Ghana in 2015, with the goal of working for a better environment and campaigning against different forms of environmental destruction and degradation. GSI is motivated by the Christian principle of stewardship and believes that caring for the environment is essential if we want to follow the biblical command to love our neighbors.
GSI’s vision is a world where every development activity is done with care for people and their environment. Our reason for being is to inspire and mobilize global citizens regardless of their nationality, religion, gender and political association to be part of protecting our common environment, for the sake of this generation and coming ones. In short, we are caring today for a greener tomorrow.
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