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The year 2021 has been full of prospects and promise following myriad difficulties occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It was officially declared that schools could officially reopen in January albeit with changes in contact hours, scheduling and structural adjustments. 

As a project, these changes called for operational readjustments to cater for the new changes in the education sector. Thus, with limited access and associated restrictions on external visitations, considerations were made to utilise practical remote engagement with our project participating schools. Among the new plans included the use of social media campaigns to deliver relevant content to the project’s target audience and join-in radio discussions for the delivery of lessons to students and patrons in all project catchment cities; Kumasi, Accra and Cape Coast. 

New ways of  remote engagement through join-in radio discussions

We have engaged with 3 campus-based radio stations that will help with the on-air discussions of project content. In Cape Coast for instance, on 6th February 2021, we began our radio discussions on GBC radio highlighting Sanitation and Hygiene as essential components in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Subsequent engagements have been planned for Kumasi (Focus FM-KNUST) and Accra (Radio Universe).


Image credit: RUG-NWEC Project

The use of social media campaigns in the midst of a global pandemic

Owing to the obvious changes in terms of access to project schools, social media presented a worthy platform to explore. The coordinating team planned to utilise social media campaigns on all RUG’s social media platforms via Facebook, Instagram. The team also has created a Tik Tok account to reach the target audience which has become one of the major social media platforms for our project’s target group. Our bi-weekly posts on Facebook have generated engagements with over 60,000 people within the project’s target age of 12-17 years. 


Image credit: RUG-NWEC Project

State of project participating schools

Following the coordinator’s reassuring visitations, the project will continue in our participating schools regardless of the challenges caused by the changes in the current educational schedules in Ghana. We have employed the use of social media to deliver relevant content, campus-based radio training to deliver discursive conversations, and lesson delivery in schools that permit visitations. All 18 project participation schools have affirmed their commitment and our engagement with them continues unabated. 

The Nationwide Waste Education Campaign in the Greater Accra region involves 7 schools with a total population of over 9000 students and staff. Kumasi in the Ashanti region of Ghana hosts six schools with a total of 6955 people directly affected by NWEC – 6620 students and 335 teaching and non-teaching staff. Among the various projects held in the schools, NWEC has been adjudged the most impactful with the teaching and non-teaching staff participating fully to ensure the success of the project. 

Cape Coast has 5 elementary schools with a total of 188 student members of the Recycle Up Ghana clubs in the various schools, however, the impact of this club is felt by each member of each school (students, teaching and non-teaching staff).


Building on our strong start in the 1st Quarter of 2021 post-Covid-19 lockdowns, the NWEC project has thrived and consolidated its presence and impacts in the plastic education, recycling, and responsible consumption space.  All engagements continue with the 18 project partner schools across Accra, Cape Coast and Kumasi. All 18 responsible interns are doing amazing work in their respective schools relying on the constant support and inputs of the Project Coordinator. 

Social media engagement: Sharing relevant to our project’s audience remains at the core of the NWEC project. Nicely designed and shared graphical content on our social media campaign have massively contributed to an increased online presence owing to the diversified blend of interactive gifs and videos unlike in the previous quarter. Moreover, our successful partnership with the US-based 5 Gyres saw a shoutout from the organization on their social media channels in  June.

Image credit: RUG-NWEC Project

Plastic waste collection: Throughout this quarter, we have managed to collect close to 480kg of water sachets and nearly 800 kg of pet bottles respectively. Schools have generally reopened their doors and education continues.

Image credit: RUG-NWEC Project (Sunflower School)

Partnership and presence on UNDP’s and World Economic Forum’s Waste Recovery Platform: Q2 also opened doors for a possible partnership and recognition on the Ghana Waste Recovery Platform. The platform under the auspices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) seeks to be a one-stop-shop solution platform connecting all actors in the waste management value chain to promote waste recovery in a larger circular economy context. So far, our partner schools in Accra have been captured and confirmed for subsequent migration onto the platform. This presents us a good opportunity to highlight the impacts and achievements we have engendered and is also a great deal of opportunity to connect with the numerous stakeholders who are partners of this platform; Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, UNDP, AGI, GRIPE etc.

Growing human capital on the NWEC project: One major change we have witnessed since the 1st quarter is the increased involvement and membership to the core NWEC project’s management team. Aside from the inclusion of Clara Determann as the official Intern from ASA, we are happy to count on the ever-present energies of Hanna Schmidt and Grace William. Clara has devoted her time and experiences leading the development of the Handbook for the NWEC project. Both Hanna and Grace are attributed the timely, well-designed content and graphics that are making waves on our social media channels. An added individual as an added perspective, experience and new motivation goes a long way to alter the amazing prospects of the already exciting NWEC project.

Progress on Handbook development: At the heart of the NWEC project is the development of a waste educational handbook to serve as a blueprint/working document for adoption and ultimate inculcation in the standard educational curriculum in Ghana. With Clara at the helm of affairs in relation to the waste handbook, we can look forward to amazing inputs and final outcomes. So far in the 2nd quarter, the structure of the handbook has been finalized with relevant topics for development put together. We have opened the door for our NWEC Interns to actively and collaboratively engage in the development of specific topics of their choosing. This move will help the final document to be endowed with the invaluable contributions and experiences of our project interns whilst representing the realities in the Ghanaian plastic education space.

In sum, we can unequivocally say that the NWEC project is growing, with each quarter presenting pragmatic steps closer to achieving its outlined goals. With all the able support we can only be hopeful for more impactful, thought-provoking content and amazing outcomes for the NWEC project; creating the next generation of environmental changemakers.



Quarter 3 of 2021 has benefitted from the practical foundations built from the previous quarters. It was one of planning and networking to achieve strong relationships between theory and practice as far as the mandate of the Nationwide Waste Education Campaign is concerned. Thankfully, the continuous support from Genial Sozial gives us the right to dream that ultimately the educational sector in Ghana will see to the inculcation of proper waste management practices into the standard educational curriculum across all levels. Suffice to say,  all engagements continue with project partner schools across the 18 schools spread across Accra, Cape Coast and Kumasi. All 18 responsible interns are doing amazing work in their respective schools relying on the constant support and inputs of the Project Coordinator to implement the practical aspects the project has been craving after an end to a period of curtailed physical gathering in schools. 

Social media engagement: Sharing relevant content on our social media platforms has been greatly enhanced after the onboarding of Grace and Hanna. Content in this quarter built on the synergy between the National Plastic Management Policy of Ghana and the NWEC project; achieving positive behavioural change in the next generation of environmental change-makers in Ghanaian schools which strikes similar chords with the first strategic action of the national policy. Even more interesting is the first sub-action where the policy seeks to develop school curriculum and school-related infrastructure under the broader Behavioural Change action. By highlighting government responsibilities in the fight against plastic pollution, our content also served our audience with an introduction to the concept of circular economy as against linear economy, espoused single-use plastics, its composition and common single-use plastics that pollute the environment, and the promotion of Zero waste paradigms. The quarter ended with highlights and teases for our top priority; Handbook top-secret project, where interns and the project team shared video recordings.

Plastic waste collection: Throughout the 3rd quarter, we collected 800kg and 900kg of water sachets and pet bottles from across the three project cities. Schools have reaffirmed their commitment to organizing practical sessions. Delta Academy, Sunflower, KNUST primary, MA Bediako, Christbeat Solid Foundation schools are some of the schools where practical sessions are dominant.

Image credit: RUG-NWEC Project (Sunflower School)

Procurement of tricycle: One of the challenges we have encountered over the past is the coordinated collection of plastic waste in project partner schools. Discussions were held for the procurement of a tricycle to help limit the challenges associated with collection in schools. So far, and with the support of 5Gyres, we have managed to procure, register and operationalize our plastic collections via our project’s owned tricycle. This in itself represents a high point in the continuous impact of the NWEC project in Ghanaian schools. 

Partnership and team development: The 3rd quarter also presented an opportunity for core team members on the NWEC project to participate in the first-ever Waste Fair in Ghana. Organised from the 21st-23rd of July 2021, this event brought together stakeholders from diverse sectors to dialogue on sustainable waste management and the circular economy in Ghana. It afforded the team; Project Coordinator and interns the opportunities to learn, network and also share the success story of the NWEC project. The end of the event formalized the migration of the NWEC project to the United Nations Waste Recovery Platform for all project partner schools in Accra. 

Image credit: RUG-NWEC Project (Goodlet Owusu Ansah, Project Coordinator, on-screen, talks about NWEC project at the Waste Fair)

Image credit: RUG-NWEC Project

(From left to right: Goodlet, Jeffrey, Nii Noi, Nabeela and Alhsassan, Co-Founder of Recycle Up Ghana at the Waste Fair)

Progress on Handbook development: At the heart of the NWEC project is the development of a waste educational handbook to serve as a blueprint/working document for adoption and ultimate inculcation in the standard educational curriculum in Ghana. Building on Q2, we have successfully put together the structure of the handbook with relevant content from chapters 1-3 almost completed. We are happy about our progress so far with Clara leading. We envision the completion of the first draft by the end of October 2021.

In sum, we can clearly say that the NWEC project is growing, with each quarter presenting pragmatic steps closer to achieving the overarching goal of seeing to the implementation of proper waste management practices into the standard educational curriculum in Ghanaian schools. With the able support of the management team, leadership of the Coordinator, unflinching commitment of the media content team, and the ever motivated project interns, we can only be hopeful for a more impactful contribution to making Ghana a plastic-free nation in Sub-Saharan Africa!

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