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01.06.2004 General News

Poor performance of pupils due to water shortage -Minister

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Nankese (E/R), June 1, GNA - The poor performance of some school children in their examinations in recent times could be attributed to the drying up of sources of water bodies in most parts of the country thus forcing them to spend long hours looking for water at the expense of their studies.

Ms Theresa Ameley Tagoe, Deputy Minister of Lands and Forestry made the above observation at the launching of this year's "Okyeman Environmental Week" at Nankese near Suhum, on Monday, being organised under the theme "Water for People, Water for Life".

She said the country could no longer boast of any river that could flow continuously throughout the year, because of the over-exploitation of the forest resources of the country leading to the removal of the vegetation covers of most of the rivers and siltation of the riverbeds due to excessive erosion or pollution.

Ms Tagoe announced that the government had put in place pragmatic measures to reverse the menace of deforestation and land degradation in the country by the introduction of a number of re-a forestation programmes like the National Forest Plantation Development Programme, the Taungya Plantations, the Government Plantation Development Programme and the Community Forestry Management Project.

She called on metropolitan and district assemblies, unit committees and traditional authorities to actively participate in the tree-planting programmes.

The Akyem Abuakwa Abodeesahene, Nana Yentumi Boamah, said the Okyenhene, Amoatia Ofori Panin, instituted the Okyeman Environmental Week after his installation to help educate the chiefs and people of the area on the need to help protect the environment.

He said this year's celebration would be marked with talks and tree planting exercises in most of the Akyem Abuakwa towns and villages and would be climaxed with a durbar of chiefs on Thursday and Children's Barzaar at Asiakwa on Saturday.

Earlier in a welcoming address, the chief of Nankese, Barimah Kwaku Gyasi II, called for the provision of a second-cycle institution in the community to help reduce the cost of secondary school education on parents in the area.

He also called for the provision of a clinic and a public library to enable the children in the area to have access to supplementary reading books to help stop the long hours the pupils spend watching television.

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