The UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Accra is located within the Kotoka International Airport and is strategically placed to support emergency preparedness and response for the West and Central African regions. The refurbishment of this depot was completed in 2014 and was generously made available by the Government of Ghana.
In efforts to improve environmental sustainability and with support from Irish Aid, a 24kW photovoltaic system was installed on the roof of the office building to provide the daytime electrical needs of the office. Furthermore, solar panels were installed to provide hot water in the washrooms.
In 2014, it also hosted the headquarters for the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), and Partners using the depot included: ACF, Cooperazione Italia, Irish Aid, JICA, ShelterBox, UNHCR, UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO.
Last year, the Accra depot dispatched 1017 MT on behalf of 9 Partners, supporting humanitarian interventions in 25 countries. The total value of these goods was USD 4.8 million.
The process is simple and no issues have been experienced so far.
The agreement with customs is the following:
- The hub informs customs on items to be disposed, so as they can update their data. No visit, no approval is needed.
- The hub sends a note to the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their records.
- The hub organizes the destruction, under FDB and EPA's supervision, sending the items to a governmental entity in charge of the disposal.
- The hub receives a certificate with photos documenting the destruction.
- The hub pays for transport, and administraive fees to FDB, EPA and to the disposing entity.
- Destruction: no problems for medicines, food, other items.
- Recycling: not developed yet.
- Auctioning: working well. Auctioneer are certified by the Ministry of Finance. Some processes are in place between (DVLA - if vehicles, Ministry of Finance, Customs)
- Donation: donated medicines to the UN clinic in Accra, after WHO approval.