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Accra CEO urges city officials to address waste in cities

Madam Elizabeth Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey

Madam Elizabeth Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive has called on city officials to establish practical pathways to address issues of waste in their cities.

She said they could do so by working together with the informal waste workers to provide critical service delivery to many of the residents in the cities.

Madam Sackey made the call when she opened a four-day Inclusive Climate Action Academy hosted by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on the theme: “Strengthening collaboration with the informal waste sector and delivering a just transition those leaves no one behind.”

It is being attended by technical officials from the AMA, the city of Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, and leaders of the Union of Informal Workers Association with others from the International Organisation for Migration.

Others are the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), members of the civil society including the People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements and Footprints and researchers.
The participants would have discussions to help build upon the collaborative work between the cities of Accra, Rio de Janeiro, and Lagos over the year of 2021 and 2022.

The event would involve knowledge sharing between the three cities, which would include exploring the link between gender, informal workers, migrants, and solid waste management.

Madam Sackey highlighted some of the Achievements of the AMA and said since 2021 the city of Accra has been implementing the Inclusive Climate Action programme with the support of C40 Cities.

“This programme has showcased a new approach to informal labour integration which priorities the voice, visibility and participation of the informal waste actors as key to delivering climate action.”

The MCE said the AMA has conducted needs assessment to ensure that the informal waste perspectives were documented, it has organised capacity building for city planners while the city is committed to expanding social dialogue mechanisms with the informal waste sectors.

“The Assembly has put in place a policy framework to guide the development of the city,” she stated.

Madam Sackey said:” To build on this work, this year, we have also received support from the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees to deepen equity in climate action work. This support will help Accra to improve access to childcare, healthcare, and financial inclusion for at-risk migrants in the informal sector. Such actions are grounded in inclusion and equity and are vital for the development of local climate resilience.”

She urged participants to engage actively in the discussions and collaborations to come out with actions and insights to influence positive inclusive actions.

Mr Hastings Chikoko, the Managing Director of Regions, and Mayoral Engagement and Regional Director for Africa, C40 said the vision of the C40, a global organisation with 97 cities covering all regions and the globe stood for climate change justice and social equity.

He stated that the most affected communities of climate change impact were the low income or the marginalised group and therefore the C40 believes that climate, social and economic justice should be achieved together.

“It is for this reason that this event was convened to basically discuss how cities are leading on this agenda and to showcase the fantastic example like what the Mayor of Accra has shared on inclusive climate action emerging from African city and other cities,” he stated.

Mr Chikoko said: “We are to celebrate the work that we are doing. We are here to learn from the work that we are doing starting with the work that is happening in Accra as they implement their inclusive climate action and recognising how the city of Accra has prioritise the informal groups in the city, particularly in the waste sector.”

“Since 2021 through this initiative we have observed the inspiring efforts of Accra towards strengthening its partnerships and collaboration with informal workers. It has been inspiring and I do hope that we will take advantage of the conversation to really go into those activities and learn and come out with suggestions to do more,” he stated.

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