The Ministry of Railways Development has announced that is pursuing the revamping and development of railways by employing environmentally friendly technologies which do not have negative effect on the environment.
“The ministry, on its part is pursuing the revamping and development of railways by employing new technologies which do not have negative effect on the environment thus, land destruction, pollution of water bodies and the air” sector minister,” Joe Ghartey, said at the 5th edition of this year’s Ghana Industry Safety Conference (GHISCON) in Takoradi organised by the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI) on the theme “climate change and occupational health and safety”.
“The development and patronage of the rail transportation will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and that rail transport is therefore environmentally friendlier as compared to other modes of transport.
He mentioned that the ministry, is also collaborating with the University of Mines and Technology at Tarkwa in the Western Region to establish the School of Railways and Infrastructure Development and Safety Engineering as well as Occupational Health and Safety which will equip students with the requisite skills that when put to use will lessen the environmental impact of industrial activities and also develop ways to mitigate the problems caused by these activities.
The objective of the conference, is to examine the impact of climate change on occupational health and safety and advance strategies for reducing its impact on safety and health of workers.
Also, it is to encourage all stakeholders concerned to immediately start integrating the climate change impacts that are already perceptible or that can be anticipated in their occupational risk assessment approaches as well as promote awareness of the effects of climate change on workplace safety through information sharing and training.
According to Mr. Ghartey, addressing the effects of climate change on human health is challenging because both the surrounding environment the decision that people make influence health.
He pointed out that the health implication of climate change is real and there is the need for coordinated approach in addressing this devastating menace.
To this end, he said government of Ghana and other 170 other counties signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and as a commitment to that effect, Ghana has signed a five-year Emission Reductions Payment Facility, administered by the World Bank to reduce carbon emission from deforestation and forest degradation, making Ghana the third country after Mozambique and DR Congo to initial the deal.
The minister called on stakeholders within the industry to work towards building an environment that is safe, stress free and zero harm culture.