UEW Researchers Unveil Findings from Solid Waste Source Separation and Compost Project
A dedicated team of researchers from the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) recently organised a crucial equity and inclusion workshop at the Airport View Hotel in Accra.
The workshop convened on Monday, 13th November, 2023, sought to divulge the findings of their innovative project titled "Communication & Community Engagement Strategy and Equity & Inclusion Studies for a Community-Based Municipal Solid Waste."
A cross-section of relevant stakeholders who attended the workshop
The primary objective of the research project was to develop community engagement strategies for the sustainable implementation of the city of Accra's community-based municipal waste source separation and composting initiative. Additionally, the team focused on crafting behavioural change communication and community sensitisation strategies to guide the seamless implementation of the project.
Dr. Peter Akayuure, a content developer and representative of the research team, presented the comprehensive findings to key stakeholders during the workshop. He emphasised the team's commitment to creating an action plan and equity and inclusion assessment that prioritises the needs of all relevant parties, particularly addressing the interests and concerns of informal waste actors.
Dr. Peter Akayuure
Dr. Akayuure highlighted some key discoveries made during the project, including the necessity of providing information about locations of social and economic activities targeted for project implementation, classifying target groups with power-interest dynamics in Accra's waste management ecosystem, and accessing information about issues of equity and inclusion to be integrated into the project.
"The project focuses on motivating people to separate their waste at home or where they generate it and ensuring that we can convert biodegradable waste into energy. Our findings indicate that approximately 97% of residents generate biodegradable waste. Therefore, considering how to convert it into beneficial energy becomes a significant aspect," Dr. Akayuure remarked.
Despite the discovery that only 3.2% of residents interviewed separated their waste into organic and inorganic categories, the majority were found to practice waste separation. Dr. Akayuure expressed the team's eagerness to learn from these individuals and their methods.
Participants having a focus group discussion
The workshop also featured valuable insights from participants representing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ABSA, Jekora Venture Limited, and informal sector representatives who shared their experiences in solid waste source separation. Additionally, a focus group discussion allowed participants to explore perceived barriers and propose strategies to overcome obstacles in waste separation.
Portions of the discussion in the focus groups
The esteemed project team, consisting of Prof. Esther Yeboah Danso-Wiredu (Social Science and Team Lead), Prof. Samuel K. Hayford (Expert in Equity and Inclusion), Prof. Christiana Hammond (Expert in Awareness and Communication), Dr. Peter Akayuure (Expert in Content Development), Dr. Bernard B. B. B. Bingab (Expert in Monitoring and Evaluation), Mr. Stephen Osei Akyiaw (Expert in Design), and Dr. Philip Siaw Kissi (Team Secretary), played a vital role in spearheading this impactful research initiative.
Project team members from L-R: Mr. Stephen Osei Akyiaw, Prof. Esther Yeboah Danso-Wiredu, Prof. Samuel K. Hayford, Dr. Philip Siaw Kissi and Dr. Peter Akayuure
The workshop marked a significant step towards realising a sustainable waste management system for the city of Accra, reinforcing UEW's commitment to groundbreaking research and community development.