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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Waste Pickers call for respect and recognition

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Waste pickers are demanding respect and recognition for their contribution in managing the huge amount of waste produced in the country.

According to them, despite having to constantly inhale repulsive stench from more than 30 thousand tonnes of waste generated daily, they are often harassed, disrespected and treated harshly.

The waste pickers made the call at media briefing to mark ‘International Waste Pickers Day which highlights the brutal killing of eleven waste pickers in 1992.

March 1st every year is set aside to remember the brutal killing of some eleven waste pickers in a University in Colombia in 1992.

On that fateful day the waste pickers were tricked by officers of the University, to enter the institution under the pretense of providing them with recyclable materials. Unfortunately they were beaten to death and their bodies used for research and organ trafficking.

In Ghana, the day is used to acknowledge the work of Waste Pickers for their significant role in reducing the level of waste in the country, although they are the least regarded.

For waste pickers at the Kpone Landfill site, the stench from the waste dumped there exposes them to health conditions like cholera, respiratory diseases and lung cancers.

The Chairman of the Kpone Landfill Pickers Association, Doe Johnson, said they risk their lives and in work under extreme poor conditionds, yet they are not recognised.

Secretary of the Association, Esther Nyarko appealed for protective clothing and some first aid.

Women in Informal Employment, Globalising and Organising, WIEGO has been initiating programs to highlight the challenging working environment for waste pickers. One of such initiatives is the media engagement in collaboration with the Kpone landfill and the Biakoye waste Pickers Association, to let the public appreciate their plight. The media engagement is done with support from Pick It, Fun Milk, Environment 360 and MRT.

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