11.07.2006 Social News

EPA activist meet to strategize ways to curb the use of Persistent Organic Pollutants

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Environmental Protection activist have been meeting to strategize ways to militate against the increasing use of Persistent Organic Pollutants -POPs.

At the meeting stakeholders called for an intensive awareness and sensitization programme to educate farmers and the general public on the harmful effects of POPs.

The meeting organized by the Ecological Restorations a Non Governmental Organization for the conversity of Biodiversity brought together officers from the various environment protection agencies and NGOs. According to investigations the toxin are found in chemicals sprayed on food crops.

The chemicals once sprayed leaves poisonous residues on the produce leading to long-term human health and ecological consequences. Charles Koomson is the Programmes Officer, Environmental Protection Agency

“Whilst released into the environment, POPs despite their benefit cause toxic reactions, persist in the environment for years, travel thousands of kilometres from where they were used and have long term human and health effects. Human health effects include cancer, allergies, hyper sensitivity, damage to the nervous system, reproductive disorders, disruption of the immune system and death”.

However the Executive Director of Ecological Restorations Odjam Akumatey recommends the use of organic materials when planting as one means of combat.

“This solution involves the use of natural pesticides that is plant and some animal residues. The organic manure produced from the plants and some animal residues is healthy to the soil particles together to help in water retention and preventing soil erosion. Ecological restorations wishes to urge that the education be intensified and that it should be targeted at the farmers”, he said.

Currently Ghana is a signatory to the United Nations Environment Programme, which mandates the country to prepare a National Implementation Plan.

A formal document that defines a country's commitments, current situation and actions it plans to undertake in POPs management.

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