The Liati Wote Clean & Green Hub Project
The Clean and Green Hub Project is a follow-up project of the Liati Wote Plastic Waste Project.
Liati Wote Plastic Waste Project – a recap
The Liati Wote Plastic Waste Project is an initiative of the people of Liati Wote in partnership with Stepping Stones for Africa and Jolinaiko Eco Tours, to tackle the plastic waste problem. The main objective of this project is to empower the community to keep the environment clean and consequently conserve the great eco-tourism potential of the area that includes tourism hotspots like Mount Afadzato and the Tagbo Falls. The project is focused on reducing, collecting, and recycling plastic waste left by tourists into useful products of economic value. Also, awareness creation of youth and community groups is an essential focus of this project.
The ultimate goal is to have zero plastic waste pollution in Liati Wote, thus making the village the cleanest in Ghana. This project was well underway until Covid19 hit in March 2020, affecting all the project partners since they depend on tourism to create revenue and funding for the project.
From Liate Wote Plastic Waste Project to the Clean and Green Hub
The setback due to Covid19 did not diminish our shared ambitions for a clean Liati Wote. Therefore, we are grateful to the Embassy of France in Ghana for taking the bold step to support our initial plastic waste project and encouraging us to include our desired objectives targeting nature conservation and biodiversity. They made this possible by granting us the PISCCA grant (French Solidarity Program to “Strengthening Professional Skills of Civil Society Organization”) with Stepping Stones for Africa and the community providing co-funding. Their support made it possible to evolve the Liati Wote Plastic Waste project possible into the “Clean and Green Hub”.
Together we emphasize activities related to local governance around plastic waste management, awareness activities, and alternative livelihood sources from eco-tourism in the community.
The heart of this project is the Liati Wote Clean and Green Hub, a multi-purposed center aiming to provide the following facilities:
- The Clean Space – consisting of an outside space for storage and sorting of plastic waste recovered from the community and tourist trails, and an inside creative workshop space where community members create, produce and store products from plastic waste materials.
- The Shop – a showroom and souvenir shop where the created products will be marketed and sold, together with other eco-friendly and ethical products from and for the community.
- The Green Space – an inside space where various awareness activities, exhibitions and training sessions on environmental issues will be held. This space will be surrounded by lots of greenery.
The main project activities include additional actions on plastic waste recovery and awareness and training mainly for young women and girls in the plastic value chain to provide a source of livelihood.
Ultimately, the hub also aims to provide a platform to develop long-term partnerships and dynamic solutions that address the threats to the natural environment and biodiversity of Liati Wote.
These two dimensions of waste and environment correspond with the name Clean and Green Hub.
The Hub further explained
The Clean and Green Hub is a community grassroots project. It’s an ambitious project of concerned organisations and community members who see this project as an opportunity to address the environmental and livelihood challenges in the remote area of Liati Wote. We are not (yet) experts in sustainable building or engineering, or even biodiversity and nature conservation. But the project is based on our experience, beliefs and aspirations that we will make positive impacts and significant changes via learning, experimenting, networking, and partnerships.
At the time of writing, we are close to the end of the project’s first phase, namely building the physical structures. These physical structures are The Clean Space, The Green Space and The Shop. In this phase, we have experimented with innovative sustainable concepts such as building with plastic bottles, interlocking compressed bricks and minimizing the overall use of building materials such as wood and roofing sheets through secret roofing. We made provisions for water harvesting and we are aiming to use solar energy.
Additional supporting facilities such as washrooms and a summer hut, and growing an inspiring educational green garden are still on our agenda.
A Closer Look at ‘The Shop’
The Shop has a prime location bordering the main road between Liati Wote and Gbledi, which is also on the way to the tourist destination Wli. It’s the first building in front of the Hub and is constructed with interlocking bricks, and parts of the wall are built with plastic bottles.
The Shop provides space to market and sell the products created in the Hub. In addition, there will be other eco-conscious products produced or desired by the community to create an additional income stream for the Hub.
A Closer Look at ‘The Clean Space’
The workshop will be the cockpit of the Hub where the creation and production of artifacts take place. There is an outside area and shed around a magnificent bamboo, where the recovered plastic waste will be stored, sorted and washed. The workshop itself is beautifully built with the same interlocking bricks. It offers a workspace that will be equipped with machinery and working tables for production and some storage rooms and a veranda.
The Recycling Techniques
Sewing and Ironing
We learned that it’s perfectly possible to sew plastic water sachets together to make products. In addition, ironing of sachets will make them stiffer, bind them together and create other creative possibilities. A couple of workshops are planned for 2022 to master this skill better and come up with the ultimate Liati Wote souvenir.
The PET Bottle Challenge
Presently, we do not have the capacity at the Hub for commercial recycling of plastic PET bottles. Therefore we are experimenting to do construction works with these bottles at the Hub itself.
As we continue to recover and store, we hope to sell the recovered waste to recycling companies while exploring options for recycling these bottles ourselves at the hub. We also started experimenting with bottle tops by turning them into artifacts either through melting or other techniques.
A Closer Look at the ‘Green Space’
The ‘Green Space’ is the third building in the hub, built with the same interlocking bricks. It has a large open space and two extra rooms. The concept of the ‘Green Space’ is broad and focuses on education, awareness, and developing solutions to preserve the natural environment of Liati Wote.
In short, the Green Space offers the following:
- The baseline is an ongoing annual exhibition and a community awareness program. Currently, we are working together with the community on the creation of the exhibition ‘The Forest, Our Story’. Once opened, there will also be a monthly movie screening for the community on environment-related topics and other fun activities for the youth. This is the default state of the center. In addition, the Hub, together with all stakeholders, will come up with quarterly and annual programs for the Green Space.
- The Green Space will be available for the community to meet and discuss issues relating to tourism, cultural heritage, and the natural environment of Liati Wote.
- The Green Space will allow other (potential) partners like government agencies, NGOs and like-minded businesses to deliver tailored education and awareness programs or co-create projects together. The ultimate aim is to attract like-minded organizations and design projects that will positively impact the environment.
- The Green Space will add value to the eco-tourism potential of Liati Wote as it will also create activities and experiences for tourists. Actually, we have started by softly launching “Impact Safaris” in partnership with Jolinaiko Eco Tours.
Managing the Clean and Green Hub
The Hub is owned by the community and will be managed by a board. Representatives from different groups from the community will form the board, and Stepping Stones for Africa and Jolinaiko are also represented to offer guidance and support. In addition, a manager or a management team will be appointed for the day-to-day operations of the hub. At the point of writing, we are working together with the community, and creating a reference document on the overall management of the hub.
The Business Model for the Clean and Green Hub
Ultimately, the Hub will generate revenue from sales of products created by the Clean Space (sold in The Shop or via external orders) and activities and services offered by the Green Space.
But, like any business, it will take time and investment to get to that point, and there is still lots to be done. So, for the first 2 years, we will run the Hub with seed funds and volunteers while developing and improving the products and services and developing additional sales and marketing channels.
- Update Liati Wote plastic recycling project en de Green Hub, maart 2022
- Update Liati Wote plastic recycling program March 2020
- Liati Wote community development – Report 6: Creating Awareness Using Wall Paintings
- Liati Wote community development – Report 5: Mounting the segregations waste bins
- A new board member, Chief Sanitation and Development and great help with our plastic waste project
- Liati Wote community development – Report 4: Introduction of the plastic recycling project
- Building The Green Clinic – update february 2019
- Building The Green Clinic – update january 2019
- Building The Green Clinic – update december 2018
- Building The Green Clinic – update november 2018
- Building The Green Clinic – update july 2018
- Building The Green Clinic – update may 2018