Wed, 12 Jul 2023 Feature Article

Protecting The Environment-Our Collective Goal

Protecting The Environment-Our Collective Goal

Chapter 6 of the 1992 constitution is about the directive principle of state policy. Article 34 (1) explains that the directive principle of state policy serves as a guide to individuals and institutions in applying or interpreting the constitution or any other law and in taking and implementing any policy decisions , for the establishment of a just and free society. This section of the constitution behooves on us to be responsible citizens in the course of going about our duties as Ghanaians.

Article 36 (9) enjoins the state to take appropriate measure in protecting and safeguarding the national environment for posterity and also seek cooperation with other stakeholders for the purpose of protecting the wider international environment for mankind. The same chapter under article 41 (K) also enjoins every citizen to protect and safeguard the environment. It is by no accident that these sections on the environment are explicit in our constitution. These provisions were made for a purpose and for which we all as citizens must respect.

Human activities such as the destruction of the environment through pollution, indiscriminate disposal of waste, deforestation, illegal mining and other bad environmental practices are the major cause of environmental degradation in this country. Most of these practices have led to the destruction of the ecosystems and the gradual extinction of wildlife.

In recent times, the issue of environmental degradation has been of concern to civil society groups, religious bodies, politicians, traditional authorities, the media and environmentalist. Illegal mining or what is popularly known as Galamsey in our local parlance is a major activity going on in our forest reserves and by our water bodies. This has resulted in the pollution of our water bodies; the proximity of the illegal mining activities and the chemicals used by these miners has made our water bodies to loss its natural coloration.

The Ghana Water Company Limited has on many occasions warn of the dire consequences of the activities of illegal miners to their operations, they have complained of the huge foreign exchange that they have to use to purchase chemicals to treat the water they supply to us, people who live around these water bodies have also expressed their concerns about these developments in their communities. The activities of these miners have affected aquatic life in most of these water bodies, making life difficult for fisher folks living in these communities.

The United Nations under its Sustainable Development Goals has Climate Change as its 13th goal. The world body is doing everything in its capacity to combat climate change and its impact. In Ghana, climate change has resulted in erratic rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, drought and increasing temperatures. In recent times the country has experienced erratic rainfall patterns leading to the destruction of properties and in some cases the loss of human lives.

Just recently, the capital of the Volta region, Ho experienced a heavy downpour as a result of which many people lost their properties. In the past; other parts of Ghana also experienced heavy downpours and this led to the loss of human lives. People along the coastal areas in the Volta region and other towns have also not been spared of the strong tidal waves due to climate change patterns; the victims have lost their buildings and other valuables to these tidal waves.

Environmentalist, Civil Society Organizations and concerned Ghanaians are of the fear that our forest and water bodies might go extinct if nothing is done about the bad environmental practices and these concerns expressed by these stakeholders are very legitimate. The government has a major role to play to ensure that the concerns of these groups are addressed, there are enough laws to punish people who destroy our environment, the district assemblies and security forces must do more to help protect our environment, the media has always highlighted most of the environmental challenges that our country is facing, government must partner the media and resource other stakeholders to ensure that environmental issues are tackled with all the seriousness it deserves.

God bestowed mother earth on us so that we can live and let other things around us live, but our selfishness and greed is destroying all that we are to enjoy on this earth, protecting our environment should be everyone’s concern. Let’s do our best to protect mother earth for the unborn generation.

Mustapha Jimah [email protected]