Refrigeration Assembly Plant in Ghana soon
Dr Bernice Heloo, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), on Monday said government was in the process of developing a business plan for the establishment of a refrigeration plant.
The plant would put together ozone friendly refrigerators to help reduce chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that are released into the atmosphere.
Dr Heloo said this at the celebration of this year’s World Ozone Day. The celebration provides an opportunity for individuals worldwide to reflect on the progress that has been made with regards to the protection of the ozone layer.
The day also serves as a reminder to decision makers and the public on the need to protect the Ozone layer that serves as a shield and safeguards the earth and the lives of humans.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “A healthy atmosphere, the future we want.”
The Deputy Minister explained that government had also started a rebate system where people could trade their old refrigerators for new ones at designated places and noted that a Ghanaian Waste Company, City Waste Recycling was helping to harvest gases from the old refrigerators before they were dismantled to prevent the releases of poisonous gases into the atmosphere.
“Over the years the use of some chemicals has greatly affected the ozone layer which acts as a protective shield in controlling the harmful effects of ultraviolet B radiation (Uv-B) from the sun from reaching the earth. Some of these chemicals include CFCs and many others,” she said.
Dr Heloo said in view of the fact that most developing countries like Ghana that were signatories to the Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol against the depletion of the Ozone layer were neither manufactures nor producers of CFCs, there was the need to phase out of the use of CFC products.
The Minister added that dealers in second –hand refrigerators had understood and agreed to co-operate with government in the assembling of the plant.
She said over 600 refrigeration technicians and engineers had been introduced to hydrocarbon refrigeration technology which was a win-win option for both the ozone layer and the global climate.
Dr Heloo said officials from Customs, Excise and Preventive Service had been capacitated through a number of training programmes to enable them step up their monitoring role in tracking illegal importation of ozone depleting substances into the country.
Mr Samuel Anku, Deputy Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA)said the Montreal protocol had been beneficial and had delivered substantial climate benefit, adding that the reduction in ozone depleting substances between 1990 and 2000 yielded a net integrated reduction of approximately 25 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide
“These significant reductions make the Montreal Protocol one of the prime global contributors in the fight against global warming,” he said.
He however said key questions also remained on how to deal in an environmentally sensitive manner the large banks of ozone depleting substances currently used in various systems.
Mr Emmanuel Osae Quansah, Deputy Director at the EPA, briefed the media on the effects of Uv-B radiation and said the substance could suppress the immune system and that a variety of plants such as rice, maize among other were sensitive to the substances.
The EPA will also organize forum with selected fishing communities and women’s group, hold radio and TV talk shows as well as launch a booklet titled “20 Years of Active Participation in a Worthy Global Effort to create awareness of the Ozone layer.