Notes to broadcasters
The increase in plastic waste on the streets of African cities is becoming a crucial problem. The use of plastic for packaging and in containers has rapidly grown in recent decades. Today, massive amounts of plastic waste end up being discarded. The purchase of any product is an opportunity to use plastic. This plastic is then thrown away onto streets, and clogs sewage systems. This situation is one of the causes of flooding in Lomé, the capital city of Togo.
To fight this plague, the NGO Environnement Plus decided to buy back used plastic bags. It set up dump sheds in some city neighbourhoods for this purpose. This public-spirited activity not only makes the city cleaner and protects the environment, but also provides employment and money for those who contribute to the clean-up.
In the long run, the waste will be recycled and used for other purposes, for instance, the manufacturing of paving tiles, school slates, shoes, and other items.
This script is based on an interview conducted with representatives of the NGO Environnement Plus. It is about plastic waste management, as performed by that organization, and about opportunities created through collecting plastic waste.
You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on a similar topic in your area. Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.
Mrs. Esther Oguki-Atakpa Ewoè: president of the NGO Environnement Plus
Bernard Messan Atakpa: manager of Environnement Plus
Modeste Sedor: coordinator of Environnement Plus
Eric: plastic waste collector in Nukafu neighbourhood
Kofi Nagbe: plastic waste collector in Gbossimé neighbourhood Signature tune, then fade out under the voice of the host
To discuss this topic, we have with us Mrs. Esther Oguki-Atakpa Ewoè, the president of the NGO Environnement Plus. She is with her collaborators Bernard Messan Atakpa, a manager in the NGO, and Modeste Sedor, the coordinator of the organization.
We can also see open-air rubbish dumps multiplying throughout the city. This negatively affects the image of the city of Lomé. So, we set up this initiative to encourage people to give a new look to the Togolese capital, and to change the image of Togo in general.
Plastic bags are not biodegradable. If buried in the soil, they prevent water from penetrating into the deeper soil. Look what is happening in Adakpamé neighbourhood and the neighbourhoods in the eastern part of Lomé. (Editor’s note: This problem also occurs in Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum, and very possibly elsewhere.) A small amount of rain, and there is flooding. The soil cannot absorb any more rainwater. The soil is waterlogged, so water cannot infiltrate because it is blocked by the bags buried in the soil due to city dwellers’ actions.
Before we continue with our interviews, let’s listen to two collection agents from Environnement Plus whom we met earlier at their workplace.Fade in sound of horns, motorcyclists and itinerant salespersons, then fade under host and hold
Another problem that we are facing is that we have only a certain amount of money that we must use to buy the packages of plastic bags. After we have used up that money, we stop buying. This can cause verbal disputes between the plastic bag collectors and the sellers. There are also clients who come with products that we do not take, such as plastic cans and plastic serving plates. So, we try to explain the situation to them.
We have already received some feedback. Already people on the street tell us that there are no longer any bags left here and there. These “city flowers” or “itinerant bags,” as people call them – we don’t see them so much anymore.
- Contributed by: Bonaventure N’Coué Mawuvi, journalist and reporter at Radio Légende FM
- Reviewed by: Ms. Tessa Goverse, Ph.D., Head, UNEP Year Book Unit, Division of Early Warning and Assessment, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- Translated by: Madzouka B. Kokolo, consultant
- NGO Environnement Plus
- Special thanks to:
Mrs. Esther Oguki-Atakpa Ewoè, president of the NGO Environnement Plus
Bernard Messan Atakpa, manager of Environnement Plus
Modeste Sedor, coordinator of Environnement Plus
Eric, plastic waste collector in Nukafu neighbourhood
Kofi Nagbe, plastic waste collector in Gbossimé
Amnesty International Togo, for its Wifi internet network
Interviews conducted on October 4, 2010.