In celebration of Ghana’s 67th Independence Day, ten organizations and clubs from the University of Cape Coast and the Cape Coast metropolis came together to conduct a clean-up exercise on some streets in Cape Coast. The objective of this exercise was to encourage the public to keep their environment clean and educate them on the importance of doing so.

The participants included Community Citizen Service, Cape Coast Konnect, Global Shapers Community, Nyansapow Leo Club, Recycle-Up Ghana, Rotaract Club, Love for Science, Spino Fight Against Plastic Waste, TEDxUniversityofCapeCoast, and Young Investors Network. They split themselves into groups, some to clean up the area and others to raise awareness among the local residents about the importance of maintaining clean surroundings and the benefits that come with it.

Emmanuel Kowfie Anto-Mensah, the founder of Spino Fight Against Plastic Waste, emphasized the importance of cleaning the streets to present a positive outlook to both inhabitants and tourists. He spoke to Love for Science. “We need to inculcate the habit of living a life of cleanliness. This exercise will send a signal to everyone to do things the right way so we all can have a clean city and live healthy lives while also boosting tourism,” he said.

Cape Coast, the capital of the Central Region of Ghana, is known for its rich history. The city is a World Heritage Site and is home to Cape Coast Castle, numerous schools and the Gulf of Guinea is located to its south. In recent times, there has been a surge in tourist visits, particularly after the government launched the “Year of Return” in 2019. In 2022 alone, the city hosted 80,000 tourists.

Marcellina Adomah Kyeremaa, a management member of the TEDxUniversityofCapeCoast Volunteer programs and outreach team, was part of the sensitization team on the day. She emphasized the importance of educating the public about proper disposal of plastic waste.

“A lot of people drink sachet water but the problem isn’t the drinking but the proper waste disposal methods. These plastic and rubber wastes block our drains and gutters thereby not making them useful. TEDxUniversityofCapeCoast got on board because we realized the people that contribute to this either don’t know enough about proper waste disposal or need a reminder from time to time .It is also our way of giving back to the community we are part of,” she said.

The community members were encouraged to collect their plastic waste and contact the Caritas Plastic Recycling Company to have it picked up. The company would pay the community members for the plastic waste collected.

Ivan Addae-Mensah, a registered Dietitian and an Environmental Science Ambassador who was part of the Recycle-Up Ghana group also noticed that there’s still a lack of awareness about the importance of waste segregation. He said he found solace in the fact that he wasn’t alone in the initiative.

“Each participant represented their respective NGOs and upheld their principles, which gave me hope for a brighter future. Together, with our collective efforts, I believe we can work towards restoring Mother Earth to its glorious green nature once again,” he said.

He added that to make a difference for our planet, we should start by practicing waste segregation, minimizing single-use plastics, participating in cleanup activities, and refraining from littering.

After the exercise, the group introduced themselves and spent some time socializing with each other.

Below are some pictures from the exercise.