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10.02.2021 Editorial

Compromising our wetlands

Compromising our wetlands
LISTEN FEB 10, 2021

One of the subjects we hardly remember or even factor in our scheme of things is the country's God-endowed wetlands or put alternatively forested coastlands, mangroves et al.

They constitute one of our important natural assets but which we take for granted out of largely ignorant about their significance in our lives.

A few days ago, a concerned citizen referred to the diminishing acreage of the country's wetlands thanks to human activities.

It was a reminder that if we continue on this trajectory of indifference and self-destruct, we shall lose a large portion of our wetlands if not all.

We acknowledge the contribution of our experts, some of them from academia, who in previous years were brought together to fashion out a programme to protect our wetlands.

It was about a strategy for conserving our national wetlands, a 1999 World Bank supported programme.

While other parts of the world which share similar natural phenomenon with us have succeeded by and large in achieving some leverage in protecting their wetlands, we have little to show if at all. The impact of the efforts of our experts and the funding has all but faded.

We wish we could return to that path so that those who do not consider it wrong to trespass on these special parts of our coastlands would have a change of heart and support in a national drive to conserve them.

Besides action from local governments in protecting the Ramsar sites, another moniker for wetlands blessings which not all parts of the world are endowed with, those involved in the degradation of these places should be educated about the repercussions of their encroachments.

These forested parts of our coasts characterised by mangroves serve us in varied ways one of which is control of floodwater. When we interfere with these we suffer in many ways one of which is the flooding and the fallouts from the avoidable phenomenon we encounter at certain parts of the year.

With the fallouts of global warming wreaking havoc worldwide, the loss of our wetlands would be too much.

The wind-breaking role of wetlands is something lost on many of us. When therefore this role which the wetlands perform is impaired as a result of human tampering in various forms and we endure the consequences, we hardly cast our minds to the depleted forested coastlands and how much this has impacted on our sorry state.

With the shrinking of the coastlands some of which serve as egg-laying points for an assortment of turtles, breeding spots for various migratory birds, these life forms will perish.

Posterity will of course not forgive us when due to our poor management of what has been bequeathed us by our forebears we lose them.

Perhaps the most challenged wetlands is the Sakumono Wetlands where estate developers have managed to encroach upon the spot so brazenly that we wonder whether those with oversight responsibility over the place have not been sleeping on their jobs or even compromised their assignments.

The Muni-Pomadze, Densu Delta, Songhor and Keta are important sites deserving of protection against dangerous human activities.

---Daily Guide

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