General News of 2014-09-03

Ghana to soon import water - Forestry Commission

Mr Samuel Afari-Dartey, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, has hinted that Ghana would soon have to import potable water if the nation continues to lose its forests cover.

He expressed regret that the rate at which the nation’s forest reserves and off reserves were being destroyed was very alarming and that it was destroying the watershed protection function of the forests.

Mr Afari-Dartey was answering questions from members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Land and Forestry at a workshop on Forestry and Environmental Concepts organized for them at Koforidua.

According to the Chief Executive, health problems such as respiratory diseases emanate from the loss of the forest cover and that all hands must be on deck to save Ghana’s forest from further destruction.

“Forestry Commission alone cannot control deforestation and degradation in this country; if community leaders and members will look on for the forests and land to be destroyed by illegal miners and tree felling then the challenge will persist,” he stressed.

Mr Afari-Dartey called for support from communities, land owners, law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to save Ghana’s natural resources from further destruction.

Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi, Deputy Minister for Land and Natural Resources, admitted that, Ghana had a huge task ahead in addressing the challenge of deforestation and said the government was doing its part to ameliorate it.

He however said a lot depended on stakeholders and technocrats to be creative in solving the problem.

“Mostly, those of us who are supposed to be policing our resources are rather those facilitating the destruction; we are part of the problem,” he said.

Mr Terlabi called on Ghanaians and the members of the Select Committee to assist the government to seek ways to maximize the revenue base of the sector and also look for medium and long-term solutions to the issue of rosewood exploitation in the country.

The Forestry Commission organized the workshop for the Parliamentary Select Committee to enable the members have a better understanding of the forest sector.

Alhaji Amadu Seidu, Chairman of the Select Committee, said the knowledge gained would help the Committee perform its oversight responsibility well to help improve the forestry sector.

Source: GNA
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