Members of the Planeteers Movement of Ghana, based in Accra, took their turn in ensuring a clean Ghana this weekend during a beach cleanup exercise at the Gold Coast Beach popularly called Bola Beach (the beach behind the Independence Square). The planeteers as they are called were astonished by the large number of people who visited the Gold Coast Beach on Saturday for this important exercise.
The Planeteer movement of Ghana consists of mainly young professionals and students who dedicate their extra time from work and school to engage in this voluntary project. The group takes it source and originality from the Captain Planet Foundation in Atlanta, USA which was founded in 1991 after the Captain Planet carton series. Launched in October 2010 by Laura Turner, daughter of media mogul and founder of CNN, Ted Turner. In Ghana, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin, Omanhene of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area is the life patron whilst Mr. Edward Boateng, Executive Chairman of the Global Media Alliance Group serves as the Director.
Until recently when ZOIL Services Limited, a subsidiary of Zoomlion was contracted to clean the beach, the Gold Coast Beach had been abandoned and left to the hands of squatters and has been used illegally as refuse site for people who had no care for the environment. However due to the heavy rains that was experienced a few weeks ago, the rains carried along refuse such as waste plastic, coconut husk, dresses, shoes and many others unto the shore. This increased the work of employees of ZOIL Services limited as they needed more hands to keep the place clean.
With assistance from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and ZOIL Services Limited, the Planeteers demarcated a 200 metres stretch on the shore and set it as their target for the day. About 20 in number and with support from personnel from ZOIL Services Limited, the Planeteers were able to clear the zone from all its waste and refuse. They named the zone “PLANETEERS CORNER” as they plan to visit the beach frequently to keep an eye on it.
In an interview with the president of the group, Mr. Timothy Karikari, explained that the beach cleanup is the last of 5 projects they outlined in the beginning of the year. The first which took place on the 14th of May 2011 was the “I matter March” project. According to him, it was a day for all Planeteers in the world to demonstrate against the pollution of the environment by human activities. Members of the Ghana Planeteers marched on the streets of Accra as they presented a 2 page petition to the PRO of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mr. Numo Blafo recommending actions to be implemented by the government. The second phase of the project was on the 15th of October when the Planeteers participated in a cleanup exercise organized by the Be Bold project of e.tv Ghana at the Circle Odwana in Accra. The third and fourth projects were educational trips to Achimota Preparatory school and Achimota Primary School respectively to educate the students on source separation and recycling. This occurred on the 21st and 26th of October respectively. As a long term objective, the group intends to set up Planeteer clubs in all the educational institutions to extend its presence.