Kyebi Kyidomhene laments environmental damage by illegal activities

Kyebi Kyidomhene and Chairman of the Okyeman Environment Foundation Steering Committee, Barima Nana Freduah Agyemang Okotomin has bemoaned the continuous degradation of the environment and pollution of water bodies by activities of illegal miners and illegal loggers.

According to Okyenhene Asomkahene who indicated that the elderly in various communities have been selfish and want money for themselves to the detriment of ensuring a sustainable environment for future generations wants residents to hold traditional leaders accountable.

In an interview with Channel One News on the sidelines of the launch of the Leopard Club in schools in the nine Akyem Abuakwa areas, Barima Nana Freduah Agyemang Okotomin who decried the state of the Birim River called for customary and traditional laws to be made to work in the country to clamp down on these illegalities.

“I think that the traditional authorities already have the power, it’s a matter of whether they want to do it. So for example, the Okyenhene wants to do something about it, so he tells us that they must take up their responsibilities.

“So it’s for us citizens also to hold them responsible for their work. It is the responsibility of Nananom to ensure that the environment is protected. There are laws in our books, not the English laws, there are laws in our communities, whether you are an Akyim or you are a Ga, there are laws that judge us, that manage us about our environment.”

“So this thing where we are waiting for somebody else to come from Accra to empower us, I don’t understand. If I have a problem with you and I take you to the palace, the laws in the palace work. So what’s our problem? And if you think that there’s a law that’s superior to your own law, you’d rather have the white man’s law, which is the law courts you have left.”

“There are laws there also that protect the environment, but the thing is that if you don’t take people there and hold them to the fire, the laws on your own will not wake up and enforce themselves. So for me, I am an extreme conservative about how we should go about these things. We should make our laws work. The customary traditional laws, we should make them work, and we make them work slowly. We’ll get our environment back, it will be 100% better than it is now.”

Touching on the theme, “Empowering Young Minds in Environment Conservation For a Sustainable Future”, the Technical Officer for the Social Determinants of Health at the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office Ghana Madam Akosua Kwakye indicated that the WHO is equally worried about the current issues on climate change and health in Ghana.

“There are a lot of issues that we are concerned about and it’s not just WHO but I think working because we work principally with the government and I think the government is equally worried, especially when it comes to issues of climate change and health.

“In the past few years WHO have been quite instrumental in pushing the agenda of climate change and health. We are also concerned about pollution, and the effects of air pollution.”

“In fact WHO has developed a training course for health workers so that they address issues of air pollution and the diseases that result from contaminated air. We also are concerned about issues to do with water and sanitation because in effect if we can address these issues, we can protect a lot of diseases from having systems in place to address water sanitisation and hygiene.”



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