A key challenge facing many countries in the developing world undergoing rapid urbanization is the issue of sanitation and waste management, a lecturer has said.
Ghana for instance is in dire need when it comes to waste and sanitation management, despite the involvement of the private sector to improve the situation.
The streets are still littered with waste and unpleasant sights of pest-infested gutters, while stinking and overflowing waste collection receptacles are still sighted in some market centres and areas in the suburbs.
A visiting lecturer at the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability at the University of Ghana Dr Bob Manteaw said waste segregation is a culture that needs to have been inculcated into the Ghanaian society.
He noted there is the need to create enabling environment so people will change their behaviours.
“It is not impossible to start but we will need a lot of sustained education and of course it shouldn’t be just a matter of education, but also encouraging that behaviour. Behaviour change is not just a desire, it is something that is nurtured and encouraged,” Dr. Manteaw stated.
He indicated that waste segregation makes it easy to recycle and produce other materials such as plastic chairs, tables, bathroom slippers, souvenirs among other.
“I have always believed that until we get to a point where we all as a people attach some value to waste materials, we won’t be able to get the aspirations we have. We need to get into the habit of recycling,” the lecturer pointed out.
According to him, once waste is turned into other secondary materials that will promote the country’s economy, nobody will dispose of rubbish anyhow, knowing that money can be earned out of it.
For Dr Manteaw, the behaviour of Ghanaians can only change when there are requisite regulatory and punitive measures on waste management.