Update Liati Wote plastic recycling project and Green Hub, March 2022
This is a project update by Rob Handgraaf (board member SSFA) and Jacqueline Aarnts.
Two years ago, we left Ghana in high spirits with many ideas about the production of bags made of plastic waste. Gideon Dodea had made his first products and was planning to teach his skills to others. Unfortunately, Covid came in the way and, in Liati Wote, the production of recycled products came to a standstill.
However, dreaming about Liati Wote, becoming the cleanest village in Ghana, did not come to a standstill. Action was taken by installing bins, collecting and storing plastic waste and educating the children. The village is now ready for the next, very important step: a visitors centre, dedicated to plastic recycling.
The Green Hub
The French embassy in Ghana has a program called PISCCA (Innovative Projects of Civil Society and Coalitions of Actors), for NGOs in Ghana and Stepping Stones for Africa applied for a grant. In June 2021, the proposal was accepted and SSFA received money for the construction of a so-called Green Hub. The Green Hub will be a multi-purpose facility to support plastic waste collection, storage and production of recycled products, the sale of recycled products and to create awareness on other environmental issues.
The Green Hub will consist of several buildings.
One of the buildings that will be finished first, hopefully by the end of March 2022, will become the shop for the sale of products, local art etc. Recycling of waste is being integrated in the construction of the building e.g. certain parts in the building will be made of used plastic water bottles, filled with sand.
The second building, also soon to be finished, is situated behind the shop/showroom and will be the workshop where the plastic waste will be stored, washed and transformed into products to be sold. In this workshop, there will be sewing machines, irons (for the fusing of plastic sachets), tools and whatever is needed to start the production.
The third building, which is a bit bigger than the other two, will become the awareness centre where exhibitions, information boards etc will tell the visitors about the plastic recycling project and other environmental issues. The space will also be used for awareness programs and training for different community groups.
The centre will be owned by the community and management of the centre will be in the hands of the locals. SSFA, together with other partners, will provide guidance and support where needed; especially in the early years of the centre.
One of the initiatives of SSFA was a two-day introduction training on plastic recycling techniques in February 2022.
Short video impression of the sewing training.
The construction of the buildings has started at the end of 2021 and, already, we see the first building almost ready to be used. Unfortunately, huge inflation on building materials during the last few months have made it a challenge to do everything that we had planned when we applied for the grant. Right now, priorities have to be made and the production and development of products have to start to generate a first income.
SSFA has put a big effort in this plastic recycling adventure and we all believe it will become really successful. For us, it was inspiring to be in Liati Wote again, meet with all the people involved in the project, and see the development with our own eyes. There are many opportunities here to make this a fruitful and unique initiative and we are looking forward to next year’s visit.
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