09.06.2004 Regional News

Environmentalist urges politicians to discipline industrial pollution

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Tema Manhean, June 9, GNA - An Environmentalist in Tema on Tuesday called on politicians to have the political will to bring to book industries polluting the environment in order to save the nation's resources from degradation.

Nii Armah Richster Amarfio, Executive Secretary of the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement (CSRM), a non-governmental organisation based in Tema, who made the call, was particularly concerned about the dumping of industrial discharges into the Chemu Lagoon in Tema by some companies operating in the area.

"The pollution of the Chemu lagoon is not an isolated case. The Korle and Kpeshie Lagoons are also suffering similar fate," Nii Amarfio said at a news conference at Tema Manhean. The news conference was organised by the CSRM with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung to mark the World Environment Day, which fell on last Saturday. It was on the theme: "Wanted; seas and oceans-dead or alive".

Nii Amarfio expressed regret that persistent calls on governments to impress on the industries to reactivate the Chemu Lagoon went unheeded and that its present state had rendered the natives of Tema Manhean jobless since their livelihood depended on it. He said Ghana, as a developing country, was yet to realize her full potential of marine resources management to sustain it for future generations.

"We have laws that are not enforceable, the Navy complains of inadequate logistics and resources; the Fisheries Department is seriously dormant".

He also expressed disappointment with the attitude of Ghanaians, who, he said, continued to harvest endangered species such as marine turtles because of greed.

"The fact that we are unable to check the winning of sand along our coast attests to our inability to ensure sustained environmental management. This is coupled with the practice of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority dumping wrecked ships along the coast of Tema". Nii Amarfio reiterated that it was the responsibility of everybody to "give a human face to environmental issues" and also to respect aquatic life.

The Executive Secretary tasked politicians to include environmental protection in their agenda for this year's elections, adding that the CSRM would design campaign posters to back the various messages to that effect.

In addition, the CSRM would sponsor forums for aspiring parliamentary candidates in Tema to express their views on how to tackle environmental issues.

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