President Nana Akufo-Addo has expressed regret at the level of degradation and pollution in Ghana’s environment.
According to him, although citizens have the right to exploit the environment for present gains, it must be done without destroying it for the sake of posterity.
Delivering an address at the 60th independence anniversary parade a the Black Star square in Accra, Nana Akufo-Addo said, the current state of the environment cannot be ignored, adding that our activities as citizens is “endangering the very survival of the beautiful and blessed land.”
“It is turning out to be a constant refrain, but, on a day like this, we cannot ignore the state of our environment. We are endangering the very survival of the beautiful and blessed land that our forebears bequeathed to us. The dense forests, that were home to varied trees, plants and fauna, have largely disappeared. Today, we import timber for our use, and the description of our land as a tropical forest no longer fits the reality. Our rivers and lakes are disappearing, and those that still exist are all polluted,” he said.
“It bears repeating that we do not own the land, but hold it in trust for generations yet unborn. We have a right to exploit the bounties of the earth and extract the minerals and even redirect the path of the rivers, but we do not have the right to denude the land of the plants and fauna nor poison the rivers and lakes,” he added.
Many experts in the forestry and natural resources industry have raised concerns over the spate of environmental degradation in the country.
Many of Ghana’s rivers have been left polluted with chemicals from activities from illegal miners popularly known as ‘galamsey’ operators.
This has resulted in the shutdown of a water treatment plan in the Eastern Region that treats and distributes potable water to various communities.
The activities of the ‘galamsey’ operators in the Atiwa forest reserve in the Eastern Region, have also resulted due to a significant destruction of parts of the forest.
But Akufo-Addo in his address said, “there is nothing we can do better to pay homage to those who fought to free us from bondage than to dedicate this 60th independence anniversary to protecting our environment and regenerating the lands and water bodies.”
“I have confidence that we can and will achieve the dreams of our forebears. I am hopeful that we will continue to make ourselves worthy inheritors of this land. I know that we will wear the accolade of being a Ghanaian with pride. Let us mobilize for the happy and prosperous Ghana of tomorrow, in which all of us, including our youth, our women and the vulnerable in our society, will have equal opportunities to realize their potential, and build lives of dignity. Then, our independence will be meaningful. Then, we will have a Ghana beyond aid,” he added.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana