“Keep the Village clean” is the motto of our project, which started in September 2018. We, two volunteers from Germany, want to counteract the topic of plastics and environmental pollution in Ghana. The topic “garbage and disposal” has been a great challenge for Ghana for years.

There is no state-organised waste disposal, which means that the people – especially in the villages – have to dispose of their waste on their own responsibility.

Meter-high mountains of garbage are created on the streets, people burn their garbage themselves or leave it behind on the streets or in nature. These are mainly plastic articles. Plastic bags from purchases, plastic bags from which water is drunk, and much more. All this is carried into nature by wind or rain until the plastic finally reaches the rivers and later the sea. For us it was clear that we at least wanted to lay a foundation stone to create awareness for the use of plastic and to illustrate the catastrophic effects on agriculture and the lives of animals and humans.

Through friends and our own Internet research, we came up with the idea of reusing the empty drinking bags for a football net. We told the villagers about our project and started to collect the drinking bags. After a few days we could start with the preparations. We cut the bags on two sides, washed them, let them dry and cut them apart in the middle so that one bag became two “plastic loops”.

Now the actual work began, the knotting of the net. In order to make faster progress, we encouraged the pupils of the school to collect drinking bags in Adwampong and pass them on to us. Through the cooperation of children, village staff, mothers and volunteers, the net grew from week to week and we were soon able to set up the first gate with net in the school.

While we were working on the second net, we prepared a presentation to visualize the topic of plastic and its consequences to the people in Adwampong and make it tangible. Here we also showed pictures for recycling and uppercycling possibilities of plastic. The reactions to this presentation were consistently positive. The inhabitants of Adwampong wanted this presentation to be held in the surrounding villages, too, in order to find a possible common solution and to do something against environmental pollution in the region.

In December the second net for the school in Adwampong was completed, so that the children can now play football enthusiastically. Our project continues.

During the last weeks we went with our project to the next village, Adunku. Also here the presentation was held and the pupils started with our help to make a goal net for their football field.

By Veronika