GEN GHANA PRODUCES SOFA CHAIR FROM USED PLASTIC BOTTLES

As part of practical training during the GEN Ghana Ecovillage Design Education Course held at KITA, participants led by Dormenyo Galley of Action Accra trained participants of the EDE in the design and fabrication of a plastic chair made from  used voltic bottles.

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Plastic bottles have become a nuisance in our country Ghana due to the indiscriminate disposal of waste without recycling. The challenge of waste disposal and its impact in our country causing floods, mosquito breeding leading to health hazards and silting of our rivers and water bodies called for urgent and innovative ways of using used plastic bottles to fabricate  differnt kinds of innovative and useful products for our society including sofar chair, hanging gardens and irrigation systems.

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A member of GEN Ghana with the skill and expertise provided training for the other members of GEN Ghana.

GEN Ghana hopes to scale this up by producing chairs from used plastic bottles to be able to serve our communities, schools and sitting areas to enhance healthy livestyles in our societies.

Through the EDE, GEN Ghana called on government to expedite action to ensure effective waste recycling policies that will benefit our societies and enhance sustainable development in Ghana.

 

GEN GHANA TO PROMOTE ECO-STRATEGIES FOR COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY

GEN Ghana works to promote sustainable development in communities by transitioning traditional communities into ecovillages.

To promote ecovillage concept in communities, we introduce our eco-strategies or interventions gradually to show examples of sustainability and to be able to transform communities and societies into ecovillages or sustainable communities.

During the Ecovillage Design Education Course held at the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture, between February 15th to March 15th 2016, participants developed eco-strategies and how they can be implemented into our communities to enhance sustainability.

Some of these eco-strategies are

  1. Waste management – waste separation and recycling
  2. Tree planting and afforestation

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  1. Renewable Energy  – Solar lighting and Clean Cookstoves

Sunken Home

  1. Organic Farming, Permaculture, Food Gardens and Food Sovereignty
  2. Beekeeping and biodiversity conservation
  3. Herbal and Alternative Medicine
  4. Green Building and Eco-houses
  5. Mushroom Production, and Alternative income generation initiatives (soap and creams from Moringa, hybiscus drink (sobolo), honey processing, bead making, bamboo processing among others.

1ST ECOVILLAGE DESIGN EDUCATION (EDE) HELD AT KITA GHANA

The first Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) course in Ghana has been held at the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture, KITA in Kumasi. The four week international training course is aimed at building capacity of community leaders, CSOs and institutions and members of GEN Ghana in ways to enhance sustainable lifestyles and sustainable development in communities. The EDE is approved by the United Nations Education for Sustainable Development and was held from 15th February to 15th March 2016. About 35 participants were trained in the Ecovillage Design. The EDE was under the auspices of the Danish Ecovillages Network (LOES) with support from the Danish Civil Society Fund (CISU).

Lovans Owusu-Takyi, the Secretary to the Ghana Ecovillages Network (GEN Ghana) and a Programs Coordinator at Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture, KITA in an interview with GNA indicated that, the Ecovillage Model is very important for our community development since it promotes approaches that ensure sustainable care for the earth, care for people, sustainable livestyles and fair share of resources. He added that our current development paradigm has been exploitative of earth resources causing destruction to our environment, bringing conflicts over scarce resources and resulting in global challenges such as climate change, deforestation, food, nutrition and energy insecurity as well as unsustainable waste management. He said the Ecovillage Design Education course is an internationally certified education program that build the capacity of community leaders to live and promote sustainable lifestyles whiles implementing ecovillage strategies for sustainable community development.

Participants were trained in the 5 dimensions of sustainability that is an integral part of the ecovillage development approach. This includes the social, cultural, economic and ecological dimensions as well as  participatory design. Participants received practical social tools such as conflict resolution, project design, participatory planning, leadership skills, facilitation skills, community mobilization for action. Also ecological tools such as renewable energy, solar installation, biogas, clean cook-stoves, permaculture, organic farming, home and school gardening, fruit juice processing, fruit drying, reconnecting to nature, water harvesting and waste water treatment, water purification, among others. Participants were also empowered with economic tools for income generation including fair trade, shared economy, soap making, moringa processing, oil distillation, ethical banking practices, and social enterprise development. Participants were trained to embrace diversity, build economy, influence policy and develop their sustainable lifestyles. Through participatory design, participants prepared designs that emulates how they can transition traditional communities into ecovillages.

Participants also developed eco-strategies as entry points to community development. 8 eco-strategies were prioritized among a host during the training sessions. Participants committed to implementing food sovereignty, seed banks, bee-keeping, solar energy, Tree planting, sanitation and waste recycling, green building among others. Participants capacities were built in these strategies for which they go back to integrate into their communities to ensure clean environments as well as biodiversity conservation.

Mr Lovans Owusu-Takyi urged participants to go back home and take necessary action to develop their communities and households sustainably, advocate for the integration of eco-strategies in ensuring sustainable development, implement these strategies and live sustainable lifestyles.

Camilla Nielsen-Englyst, the Secretary General of the Danish Ecovillages Association, indicated that the ecovillage design education is a sustainable training model that must be embraced in Ghana to empower community leaders to make policies that ensures that people live sustainable livestyles and promotes community development.  She said the EDE is a partnership intervention to build the capacity of members of the Ghana Ecovillages Network (GEN Ghana) to be able to advocate for ecovillage strategies into national policy making decisions in order for policy makers to develop sustainable communities.

Kosha Anja Joubert, the Executive Director of the Global Ecovillages Network, GEN International indicated that the ecovillage model is the pathway to achieving the sustainable development goals and urged the government to adopt the ecovillages model in developing Ghana. She said in Senegal for example, a ministry of Ecovillages has been established by the government to transition 14000 traditional villages into ecovillages.

Mrs Fati Bamba, a treasurer of the Ghana Ecovillages Network GEN Ghana and Youth Coordinator at the Ejisu District expressed appreciation to the Danish Ecovillages Network and CISU for supporting the capacity building of GEN Ghana. She said the training has been transformational and participants are going back to their communities with a lot of energy and motivation to implement eco-strategies to ensure sustainable development.

Charles Katere a participant in the Ecovillage Design Education from the Ghana Permaculture Institute in an interview with GNA said, the EDE has been very beneficial to me for life and will help me to live a sustainable lifestyle whiles empowering communities in the northern region to be self sustaining. He indicated that anyone who gets the chance to participate in the Ecovillage Design Education Course should not hesitate since it is an important course for community leaders today

Welcome to GEN Ghana, the Ghanaian Association of Ecovillages Promoting Ecovillage Strategies as Models for Sustainable Development

This is the post excerpt.

The Global Ecovillage Network Ghana (GEN-GHANA) is a Ghanaian Ecovillage Association, promoting social resilience, food security, environmental protection and restoration of nature through the concept of ecovillages as models for sustainable human settlements.

GEN-GHANA is legally registered, established as a non-profit body under the relevant laws of Ghana, namely the Company’s Code of 1963, Act 179.