Indiscriminate dumping and burning of waste materials in communities are environmental injustice, the global coordinator for Women in Informal Employment Globalising and Organising (WIEGO) has said.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sideline of an event to inaugurate Ghana’s first Waste Pickers Cooperative in Kpone, Mrs Taylor Cass Talbott, American-based global coordinator of WIEGO, explained that there were lots of injustice in most communities in the world and dumping and burning of waste materials could not be exempted.

Mrs Talbott noted that Ghana could be on the global map as one of the growing numbers of countries choosing to forefront dignity and decency in the design of waste management for other countries to emulate.

She noted that the activities of waste pickers could not be overlooked if the various countries wanted to have clean and healthy communities, saying that waste pickers find and fill gaps in the waste management systems.

Mrs Talbott further advised that governments must promulgate policies and interventions that aim at improving waste management in a more circular economy to ensure a just transition that would protect the livelihood of people engaged in waste picking who may be impacted by environmental policies such as the closure of landfill sites.

She said ensuring a just transition could not only support more inclusive waste management but would also reduce social conflicts, saying that governments should secure contracts for the waste pickers to engage in a door-to-door collection of waste materials to avoid the indiscriminate dumping and burning of waste materials.

“We need to establish and maintain equitable waste management systems that are diverse and inclusive to create permanent pathways for waste pickers to advance in the waste value chain,” she noted.

The global action-research policy network has inaugurated the first Waste Pickers Cooperative in Ghana at the Kpone Landfill site in the Greater Accra Region.

Mrs Edith Dzidzornu, the Deputy Registrar in charge of Legal at Cooperatives Ghana, inaugurated the seven-member elected officers, who took the oath of office and were charged to work professionally towards the achievement of the aims and objectives of the organisation.

Ms Dorcas Ansah, Accra City Focal Coordinator of WIEGO, stated that the organisation existed to improve the status of the working poor in the informal economy.

She said to dismantle structural barriers to economic empowerment, especially women in the informal sector, needed to be organised, and their organisation needed to be legally recognised.

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