One of Recycle Up! Ghana’s (RUG) main working area is located in Cape Coast (Central Region) where our activities are dating back to 2015. After the successful implementation of two big Summer Camps in two consecutive years, which focused on environmental education and empowerment of Junior and Senior High School students, it was time to put additional effort into strengthening our locally leading team by the facilitation of customized pieces of training and by gaining additional members. By doing so, we aimed at enhancing and improving our activities in Cape Coast, promoting a more sustainable way of living when it comes to (plastic) waste production and how to treat produced waste.
Therefore, we organized the very first Summer School in August 2017 at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), mainly targeting tertiary students based in Cape Coast. The main organizers and Ghanaian RUG-members Alhassan Muniru and Abdulrahim Shaibu-Issah were assisted by the German members Florian Erbesdobler and Bettina Huber, leading 15 university students with various academic backgrounds through the one-week-event.
Besides sessions on the impacts of plastic waste, the students also gained insights into the general waste management sector worldwide as well as under local conditions in Ghana. Great contributions have been made by Heather Troutman, an expert for waste management and plastic waste valorization in Ghana. To boost the student’s´ capacity of conceptualizing and running projects independently, and therefore enabling a sustainable flow of Recycle Up! Ghana’s activities in Cape Coast, we also collectively worked on project and team management, communication skills, community engagement and impact assessment. All the different skills acquired during the first days of the Summer School were immediately applied in practice during the final phase by working on a specific local case study of the RUG Team Cape Coast.
In the future, we are planning to invest more of our resources into the continuing capacity building within our local Recycle Up! Ghana teams on the ground. Therefore, events similar to this Summer School could be replicated in different cities. This will, in turn, lead to more refined and impactful activities and projects tackling the waste challenges of Ghana.
Thanks to all participants and organizers for making Cape Coast Summer School 2017 an unforgettable and unique event! Special Thanks to our local RUG team in Cape Coast and our lecturers Heather Troutman, Tepson Tepe Saviour, Rachel Hormeku, Ivy S.G. Akuoko and Delali Deku!