03.04.2005 Regional News

Wildlife Division warns developers from developing close to water bodies

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Tema, April 03 GNA - Mrs Vivian Nuhu, Communications and Media Manager of Wildlife Division of the Forestry Division on Saturday advised developers against executing development projects along water bodies to help perverse aquatic creatures.

She said though development is not prevented along wetlands, settlement should be carried out 50 meters away from water bodies in order to prevent man's activities from polluting or degrading the water. To enforce this, she stressed the need for coordination among the Town and Country Planning, the Environmental Protection Agency and other related agencies to ensure that such unpatriotic practice is ceased. "This simple regulation is not being observed in the country but when they build closer to wetlands and encounter problem then they turn to blame government."

Mrs Nuhu made the call at the Sakomono lagoon site at Tema when custom was being performed by the Tema Traditional Council (TTC) in conjunction with the Wildlife Division to lift the four months ban on fishing in Tema municipality.

The ceremony formed part of activities to round up this year's Wetland Day that fell last month. It was being observed under the theme: "There is wealth in biodiversity; help converse it".

The Wolumo of Tema, Nii Armaah Denso poured libation and sprinkled some cooked foods around the lagoon to signify the lifting of the ban. Mrs Nuhu said settlements along water bodies are allowed but activities that are only compatible within the 1987 Ramsar Convention of International Importance should be permitted.

She said, mindful of her water bodies and their importance to man, Ghana joined other nations on the need to converse wetlands and therefore started with five ramsers in the country at Keta, Ketu, Akatsi, Denu and Tema.

Mr. Charles Amankwaah, Coordinator of Wetland Conservation advised against the encroachment in various ways as farming or settlement on ramser sites to give meaning to their location in the country. Osonga Nii Adjei Kraku II, Chief of Tema called on fishermen to go by the fishing regulations to use the appropriate nets for fishing. He warned against the use of mosquito nets by some fishermen because they tend to catch the fingerlings and deplete the stock in the sea. Nii Kraku also told fishermen and fishmongers to observe cleanliness at the shores. 02 April 05

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