Ms Sherry Ayitey, Minister of the Environment, Science and Technology, has announced that by January first 2013, a total ban would be placed on the importation of used refrigeration equipment.
She said that arrangement had been agreed upon with the dealers adding, by that date it would be an offence punishable by law under Legislative Instrument (LI) 1932 for anybody to import such equipment.
Ms Ayitey was speaking at this year’s celebration of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, which was held at Oyoko, a suburb of Koforidua, on Thursday.
Four second cycle schools; Pope John Senior High School (SHS), Ghana Secondary SHS, Oyoko Methodist SHS (OMESS) and Koforidua Secondary SHS, all from the New Juaben Municipality took part in the celebration, which was organized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Ms Ayitey indicated that the Government through the EPA was “doing all it could” to help users of all ozone depleting substances make the needed transition to use non-ozone depleting chemicals in an environmentally sound manner.
“Government has already demonstrated her support in many ways and has passed in Parliament the National Ozone Depleting Substances and Product Regulations Legislative Instrument (LI) 1812 to provide support to the EPA and its network of institutions to completely regulate the importation of equipment and substances controlled under the Montreal protocol”.
Ms Ayitey said in addition, the EPA and the Energy Commission had registered retailers and Importers of used refrigerators and freezers countrywide and would soon issue importation quotas to some of the importers to enable them control quantities of the non-CFC based used refrigeration equipment into the country between January 2012 to December 2012.
She said the government again was resolved to work through the EPA and other relevant institutions to maintain public support by stepping up awareness raising activities for various segments of society.
“It is also encouraging the dissemination of good refrigeration practices and giving support to retrofitting domestic refrigerators to use hydrocarbon refrigerants”.
Ms Ayitey appealed to all to remember that they had a stake in ensuring that the ozone layer remained a protective shield over the earth.
She later donated 50 laptops to OMESS to support Science and Technology study in the school while the other three SHS got 10 computers each.
Mr Daniel Amlalo, Acting Executive Director of the EPA, in a welcoming address, said a number of programmes and activities had been implemented to phase-out the use of ozone depleting substances in the country.
He mentioned some of the programmes to include awareness creation, training of technicians and engineers in code of good refrigeration practices including recovery and recycling of refrigerators, financial incentive package to enable owners of CFC based cold storage facilities to convert to ozone friendly alternatives.
Mr Amlalo indicated that recently over 600 refrigeration technicians and engineers had been introduced to hydrocarbon refrigeration technology.
“Officials from the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service had also been empowered through a number of training programmes to enable them step up their monitoring role in tracking illegal importation of ozone depleting substance”.
Mr Ebenezer Terlabi, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, who chaired the function, advised the students to get involved in tree planting to keep the environment “alive”.
He charged them to avoid littering “so that at the end of the day we avoid environmental pollution and ozone layer depletion”.