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25.08.2005 General News

TMA to act on Chemu Lagoon Restoration report

By GNA

Tema, Aug. 25, GNA - Minister of the Environment and Science, Ms Christine Churcher, has ordered the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA), to commission a team to study the Acres International Report on the resuscitation of the Chemu Lagoon and forward it to government for consideration.

The study, she said, should be in the light of current realities and should include repackaging the restoration project, as well as its engineering and financial components.

The Minister gave the order in a speech read on her behalf at Tema at a stakeholders' dialogue on the role of industry and the Municipal Assembly in managing waste and the way forward for the Chemu Lagoon. The dialogue was under the theme, "Meeting the Challenges of Restoring the Chemu II Lagoon" and was organised by the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement, (CSRM) an NGO in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

Ms Churcher, however, suggested to industries in the municipality to contribute financially to the restoration of the lagoon, since the financial implications of such project may be beyond the capacity of the TMA.

In addition, the TMA and the traditional authorities should consider launching a Chemu Lagoon Restoration Fund towards that purpose, whilst Members of Parliament in the area 'put their weight and influence behind the project'.

The Environment Minister attributed the problems of waste management in Tema and Ghana in general to the poor planning for waste management programmes, inadequate sites and facilities for waste management operations and negative attitudes of the public and some industries towards the environment.

She advised the TMA to apply some of its funds for Urban Infrastructure Rehabilitation Projects to improve major drains, and as well, prepare a waste management plan, based on the guidelines developed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Speaking on 'Role of Local Government Agencies in Ensuring Compliance to Environmental Regulations', the Local Government Minister, Mr Charles Bintim, announced that the Ministry had developed an Environmental Sanitation Policy document to provide a comprehensive framework to guide the implementation of environmental sanitation programmes of the metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies in a systematic manner.

The document, he added, specified the roles of the Ministry and the district assemblies regarding legislation and law enforcement on environmental sanitation.

He said formulation of policies alone could not bring about good sanitary conditions and emphasised on the role and involvement of the judiciary, which should establish and empower tribunals to prosecute offenders, who flouted sanitary bye-laws and regulations.

He reminded Ghanaians that, the business of ensuring good sanitary conditions for the development of a healthy society was not the responsibility of the Local Government agencies alone, but collaborative efforts of all stakeholders including traditional authorities and the community at large.

The TMA Chief Executive, Mr David Quaye Annang, in a short address reminded participants on the need to collaborate with each other to find a lasting solution to the Chemu Lagoon restoration and not to blame others for its pollution.

He gave assurance of the assembly's commitment to ensuring good sanitary conditions for a better development of Tema. Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of CSRM, Mr Richster Nii Armah Armafio, appealed to the Environment Minister and the Municipal Chief Executive of Tema, to ensure an immediate discontinuation of a fish processing facility, which was at the banks of the lagoon.

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