Environmental degradation a threat to Ghana’s economy


The current spate of environmental degradation and pollution of rivers and water bodies  in the country has come under severe criticism by many concerned citizens who see it as a threat to life and property and our future generation.

Of late our media landscape has been characterized by environmental issues ? pollution of rivers and water bodies which serve as sources of drinking water or on which the livelihood of the communities along these rivers depend, the Offin, Birim, Pra and many others have been extremely polluted with handful chemicals by galamsey operations with impunity, also affected are forest reserves and farm lands.

?Do we have effective laws in this country, asked Nana Dwomoh Sarpong, an environmentalist and President of Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies when he briefed journalists in Accra on the upsurge of environmental menace in the country.

According to him, in Accra several trees which were strategically planted to beautify the city and also serve as wind break specifically at East Legon, T-junction to 37 area have been cut down to pave way for road construction.

So ?what is the reason of planting these trees at all, Nana Sarpong asked?? ?Do we have competent planners in this country??

He said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for instance is completely ineffective as a statutory institution responsible for the protection of our environment. ?But what do we see, pollution, gabbage, human waste is everywhere especially in Accra, the capital city, yet this institution exists with its overlapping functions with Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) which claims to be performing the same role but their functions are yet to be defined.

The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) Nana Sarpong said, instead of this institution taking precautionary measures against disasters, it waits until disaster strikes before it goes to the rescue. NADMO however needs to be up and coming and liaise with Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) to be able to be abreast with the weather pattern of the country.

Nana Sarpong said Accra and other big cities in the country lack adequate recreational parks for relaxation and other ceremonies as pertains in most foreign countries. The whole country, he said has only the tiny Efua Sutherland Park which indeed does not speak well of the nation. He therefore urged the District Assemblies to create adequate recreational parks in all the regional and district capital for relaxation by the communities and stop using school parks.

By Kwame Mensah

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