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TECHIMAN: Environmental challenges reach ’explosive level’ - Akumfi
|Authorities try unsuccesfully to manage waste in cities|| |
Member of Parliament for Techiman North Thursday urged the government to seriously tackle the problem of the environmental challenges, which he said has reached an “explosive level.”
Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi said all types of waste from domestic to industrial have engulfed residential areas, choked water-ways and has also taken over arable lands and that the problem of waste management is not only limited to the cities but the whole of the country.
Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi made the call in a statement to commemorate World Environment Day celebration which falls on Friday, June 5, with the theme: “Your Plant Needs You – Unite to Combat Climate Change.”
The day is to draw the attention of the world to the importance of the environment to our lives and also to focus attention on the need for action.
Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi said the environmental challenges of the country are many and varied with most of them stemming from human activities, which has contributed to the current climate change phenomenon.
He said; “Environmental issues are multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary in nature and must therefore be mainstreamed into all our developmental agenda.”
“We must prevent the use of Ghana as a conduit for the movement of hazardous materials to neighbouring countries,” adding that; “Legislations on the importation of used goods which are creating waste management problems must be enforced.”
Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi said about a century ago Ghana had a forest cover of 8.2 hectares but has dwindled to mere 1.6 hectares (a decrease of about 80 percent).
“Logging and farming practices among others have eaten away our forest, turning portion of our country which used to boast of forest into mere savannah zones.”
He said if forest depletion is not checked Ghana would join the Sahelian belt, adding that pragmatic measures must urgently be taken to replace harvested plants.
On waste management, Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi said the disposal of human waste remains a major problem for the country and that currently Accra a lone generates approximately 75,000 tons of waste in a month.
The MP said with all the efforts put into the collection of such waste, there still remained a deficit of approximately between 6,000-15,000 tonnes on a monthly base.
Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi said much emphasis have been placed on the collection of waste rather than its disposal and that collections end up in locations which are sometimes controversial or even not properly disposed off creating major health hazards.
He urged the government to encourage entrepreneurs who wish to establish facilities that aimed at converting waste into other products as well as energy.
On plastic waste, Pro Ameyaw-Akumfi said the nation does not appear to have an antidote to habit of reckless disposal of plastic containers, and reminded Ghanaians that: “These plastics are not biodegradable and therefore could remain wherever they are dropped for ever.”
He said Ghana must be wary of the environmental challenges that would accompany the production of gas and oil and that: “We need to gear up as a country to check pollution and other issues that will arise in the near future from the production of these products.”
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