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20.08.2005 General News

Ten Upper West Communities to get solar systems


Wa, Aug 20, GNA - The Upper West Regional Directorate of the Environmental Protection Agency under the Northern Savanna Biodiversity Conservation Project is to provide 10 communities in the Region with solar lightening systems.

The Agency is also reinforcing four unique sacred groves to protect the vegetation and fauna through the use of taboos and the enforcement of by-laws.

Mr Asher Nkegbe, Acting Regional Director of EPA, announced this at Wa on Friday during a workshop on Ozone depleting substances. The workshop attracted about 40 participants made up of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) dealers, refrigeration mechanics and sellers and some environmentalists.

Mr Nkegbe said in order to sustain the awareness and interest of the people on environmental issues the EPA had embarked on a massive educational programme in the Region.

He said over 40 environmental clubs had also been formed in schools and communities to sensitise the people on the importance of protecting the environment.

"The Agency is granting greater decision-making involving traditional communities in biodiversity conservation in the Region".

Mr Nkegbe said the Agency was assisting 20 Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to access funds from the Global Environment Facility/Small Grant Project and urged them to live up to expectation.

Mr Emmanuel Osae-Quansah, Principal Environment Officer in charge of the Ozone, said the exposure of human beings to Ultra-Violet-B radiation increased the incidence of eye cataract, a leading cause of blindness.

"One percent reduction of the Ozone layer will result in an extra 150,000 cataract induced blindness", he emphasised. He said the reduction of the Ozone layer was also detrimental to both animals and plants and advised against acts that could promote bad environmental problems.

Mr J B Hasford, National Consultant of EPA and the UNDP, warned against improper disposal of plastics, rubber, wood and paint materials, which are disastrous to development.

He also warned the public, particularly mechanics and technicians against buying products without checking their hydrocarbon levels.