Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology on the Electrical and Electronic Waste Management Agreement—Designation of External Service Provider—between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and the Environmental Protection Agency) and Société Général de Surveillance SA (SGS).
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, on Friday
20th July, 2017, laid before the House, the E-Waste Management Agreement between the Republic of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Societe General de Surveillance SA (SGS).
Pursuant to article 75 (2) (b) of the 1992 Constitution and Standing Order 185, Mr Speaker referred the agreement to the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology for consideration and report to the House.
The Committee met with the Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Hon Patricia Appiagyei, the Ag Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr John Pwamang and Officials from his Ministry and the Agency discussed the contents of the agreement.
The Committee is grateful to all who participated in the deliberations and the elucidation provided on the agreement.
The Committee referred to the following documents during its delibe- rations;
a. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
b. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
c. The e-waste management agree- ment between the Republic of Ghana represented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Inno-
vation, the Environmental Protection Agency and Societe General de Surveillance SA
d. The Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act, 2017 (Act 917).
Africa's biggest e-waste dump at Agbogbloshie is estimated to generate a significant proportion of the world's 11.2 billion tonnes of solid waste. This volume of e-waste continues to grow on yearly basis posing varying environmental and economic hazards to the country.
The increasing volumes and comple- xity of waste associated with the modern economy possess serious risk to ecosystems and human health.
Wastes from electrical/electronic equipment, end-of-life vehicles, used tires containing new and complex hazardous substances present the fast-growing challenges in both developed and developing countries.
Exposures to hazardous substances in and around sites, dismantling electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) pose numerous health and safety risks for waste collectors, recyclers and neighbour- ing communities. Marginalised popula- tions disproportionately suffer the negative effects of improper e-waste disposal practices.
Processing electronic waste presents a serious health threat to workers at Agbogbloshie. The fumes released from the burning of the plastics and metals used in electronics are composed of highly toxic chemicals and carcinogens.
Workers often inhale lead, cadmium dioxins, furans, phthalates and brominated flame retardants.
Exposure to these fumes is especially hazardous to children, as these toxins are known to inhibit the development of the reproductive system, nervous system, and the brain in particular. In similar e- waste productive areas with conditions and demographics like those of Agbogbloshie, 80 per cent of the children have dangerous levels of lead in their blood.
Inhabitants often suffer from chronic nausea, headaches, chest and respiratory problems. High levels of toxins have also been discovered in soil and food samples as these chemicals stay in the food chain.
It is in view of the above that an Act to provide for the control, management and disposal of hazardous waste, electrical waste and for related purposes that it was passed in 2016.
Justification for Action
The implementation of the provisions of the agreement would help Ghana avoid the incidence of becoming a dumping ground for hazardous waste products. It would provide for objective reports on the nature of shipments declared as “used” products rather than “wastes”.
The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and its implementing agency, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will embark on a programme for the physical collection of electronic waste products and recycling them responsibly.
The programme will be the main game- changer in the government's efforts to protect the population and the
environment from harmful effects of the hazardous materials found in electronic products.
The implementation of the innovative solution designed has the potential to create over 20,000 full time jobs for the youth including those engaged in the practice of burning e-waste items across the country within the first year of implementation. The ecological environment will also be improved.
The management of the e-waste programme will enable the country achieve six (6) of the Strategic Development Goals (SDG).
They include Goal three (Good health and well-being), Goal six (Clean water and sanitation), Goal eleven (Sustainable cities and Communities), Goal 12 (Reasonable consumption and production), Goal 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and Goal 14 (Life below water).
The programme will help to generate an estimated revenue of approximately US$100 million annually to the government through the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and the EPA.
Diseases like heavy metal poisoning and malaria brought about by the burning of e-waste will also be prevented.
The project will, additionally, spur on new job opportunities directly for those who will collect the e-waste and indirectly for those who will buy recovered materials.
Under the Basel Convention with regards to the operationalisation of the agreement, the Ministry and EPA had two options to choose from. The first was to
review the importation of all shipments into the country marked as ‘‘waste'' or ‘‘used'' items.
The second was for EPA to collaborate with a globally networked private firm that undertakes an innovative modular approach and allows for the physical inspection of shipments, to determine the country of origin and the validity of each consignment, to ascertain if the e-waste is a used or new item.
It will further involve the application of a scheme that will see to the collection of Advanced Recycle Eco Fees on all regulated electrical and electronic items, under the polluter pay principle. An e- waste recycling plant would be built to address the challenge of e-waste dumping in the country.
The second option has been chosen since it provides a comprehensive e-waste management solution.
In choosing the option, the Ministries of Education, Sports, Health, Finance, Forestry and Mines, Local Government and Rural Development, Trade and Industry were consulted.
The sensitisation work plan towards the commencement of the project is as follows:
a. develop a national communica- tion campaign exposing the e- waste pollution disaster in Ghana and the proactive solutions being introduced by the govern- ment under the SGS Renovo Solutions in Act 917;
b. Programme launch, national media placement and public commu- nication campaign;
c. programme business process modelling; and
d. Capacity enhancement and knowledge shared through interactions with stakeholders.
A detailed communication action plan will be drawn to sensitise all stakeholders towards the implementation of the programme. The plan will focus on the dangers of e-waste to the environment and human life. A budget will be created out of the programme implementation scheme to manage all activities nationwide.
There is no financial requirement from Government towards the implementation of the project. The Ministry and EPA would enter into contractual agreement with SGS as the designated external service provider pursuant to section 21 of Act 917, 2016.
a. SGS shall use its presence in the over 200 countries globally to assess the advance Recycle Eco Fee for the government of Ghana through the Ministry and its agency. SGS shall remit the revenues generated from the collection of the advanced eco levy on the agreed terms.
b. SGS shall retain 15 per cent of the net Eco levy to be collected and remit 85 per cent collected on a monthly basis to the Government of Ghana.