THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency (EPA) wants government to resource the agency financially and in terms of human resource and logistics to enable it combat the rampant destruction of the environment .
According to the agency, the current state of destruction would become a national disaster if not aggressively addressed .Speaking to ENA, the Eastern regional director of the EPA, Mr Felix Addo -Okyere, mentioned the degradation of arable lands and farms by illegal miners, pollution of major river bodies with chemicals and unregulated application of agro-chemicals as some major anthropogenic activities gravely destroying the natural environment in the country.
The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo admonished Ghanaians to help protect the environment when he delivered a speech at Ghana’s 60th Independence Day Anniversary on Monday, March 6, 2017.
The President said “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.
“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.”
The President added that “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.”
Responding to the call by the President, the Eastern regional director of the EPA, Mr Addo -Okyere, said EPA and other stakeholder institutions must be strengthened to be able to withstand the militant destruction of the environment and natural resources for a sustainable development.
EPA is currently under staff and lacks logistics .The Agency only have regional offices without offices at the district level making supervision and policing of the environment ineffective.
However ,Mr.Addo -Okyere is optimistic ,the display of political will by the President of Ghana towards the environment would make a paradigm shift in the sector.