Tema, Manhean, May 13, GNA -- The Deputy Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Abraham Dwuma-Odoom on Friday called on Ghanaians to maximize the great potential that could be derived from the sea for the benefit of the entire nation.
Ghana, he said, is blessed to have her entire southern border situated along the sea shore and stressed the need to utilize it for its socio-economic development.
He regretted that this lucrative coastal stretch is being continually misused and under utilized as the beaches have been used as grounds for frequent defecation and dumping of refuse, thus destroying their aesthetic values and immense revenue potentials. The Deputy Minister made the call at the launching of the "Ghana Shoreline Beautification Fund" at Tema Manhean which is aimed at financing the development of the coastline from Aflao to Axim under a five year development plan to promote tourism with the first phase starting from Tema to Chorkor in Accra.
The project dubbed: "Project Ghana Shoreline" is the brain child of the Chief of Tema, Nii Adjei Kraku the second who is in partnership with City 2000 Youth Action International, a NGO on the environment based in Tema.
Mr Dwuma-Odoom commended the Chief for initiating the project which is in line with government's environmental programme and assured that his sector Ministry would ensure that the challenges related to the project would be adequately addressed in consultation with other Agencies for the realization of their vision.
He was delighted that traditional rulers were actively participating in the socio-economic growth of the nation in diverse ways which is a clear testimony of the benefits that could be derived from effective collaboration between Government and Traditional authority saying "it is a manifestation of good governance".
He prayed that the necessary traditional and administrative protocols be put in place to involve other traditional rulers and District assemblies along the coast whose boundaries fall within the project for its successful implementation.
Touching on the environment, the Deputy Minister warned that people who flout the regulations dealing with the environment and sanitation must be sanctioned according to the laws of the land. He said the regulations in the country's statute books dealing with the environment and sanitation are still valid and called on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to punish offenders accordingly to serve as deterrent to others.
The Chief of Tema said having lived by the sea for most of his life it was expedient that he developed the shore as his contribution towards the sustainable development of the country. He abhorred the indiscriminate defecation, dumping of refuse, pollution and degradation of the beaches saying that with the support of the NGO and corporate bodies it could be developed to boost tourism to generate revenue for the nation. Mr Rudolf Francis Hans-Jorie, president of the City 200 Youth Action International said under the programme modern sanitary facilities such as Enviro Loo, beach resort and exclusive residential apartments would be developed to help cease the filth along the coastline. He said a committee has been put in place to manage the fund and urged donors to have confidence to contribute generously towards a good course. Present at the programme which was chaired by Torgbui Fiti the fifth, paramount Chief of Aflao were Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku the third, paramount chief of Ada traditional area, sub chiefs of Tema Rural, and the Tema Municipal Chief Executive, Mr David Quaye Annang.