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Politics Wed, 29 Sep 2010

CPP spells out vision on environment

Accra, Sept. 29, GNA - The Convention People's Party (CPP) on Wednesday spelt out policy alternatives to help curb problems confronting the environment.

At a press conference in Accra, Mr Eric Kwamena Bernyako, CPP Shadow Minister of Environment, listed the transformation of the social behaviour of Ghanaians, instilling of discipline and deepening patriotism in the country as the way to curb issues confronting the environment.

The press conference was the second in a series being organised by the party to present policy alternatives dubbed: "How the CPP will do it."

The policy alternatives, which would be organised on weekly basis, are meant to help the party re-organise its efforts towards the December 2012 elections.

Mr Bernyako said the party recognised that Ghana had reached a state where she must balance the quest for economic growth and national developmental with a rational exploitation of her natural endowment. According to him as Ghana exploits her natural resources to meet socio-economic needs, "we invariably leave a footprint of destruction on the environment". He noted that Ghana, for the past decade, had been struggling with environmental issues without any solutions, recalling the list of regulatory and policy documents on the environment. Mr Bernyako said CPP is going to condense the various policy documents into one single page policy statement to guide people's actions in combating the degradation of the environment. The single page policy document, he said, "will contain all the ingredients of how we want to manage the environment, in a language simple enough to be understood by the average citizen and handy as a teaching tool. It will be used as a vehicle to create awareness in the communities".

Mr Bernyako said every district, city or town would also be required to draw their own environmental policy statement, which would define local issues and design workable strategies. Admitting that there are complex environmental issues, Mr Bernyako noted that previous governments had not done enough to solve the problems, citing the noise pollution, damping of chemical on Ghana's coastal areas, plastic and liquid waste in drains and beaches as examples.

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He, therefore, called for more commitment from government to strengthen, the Environmental Protection Agency with regard to funding to help it carry out its mandate without fear or favour. Mr Bernyako, who pointed out the flagship of the CPP as the "Clean and Green" initiative, said the party would embark on massive education campaign on citizens' responsibilities.

"We shall invest heavily in capacity building in project management and hygiene education for effective behavioural change at the community level and every Saturday of every month will be institutionalised as a day for cleaning of our surroundings and neighbourhoods." He said the party would initiate an award scheme for the "most beautiful and cleanest district or city in Ghana" on competitive basis. "We shall challenge and fund our universities and scientific institutions to design cost effective and appropriate technology for ecologically safe and sustainable systems for sanitation and waste disposal," he added.

Admitting that the task ahead is enormous, Mr Bernyako said the party is happy to place environment firmly among other sectors that would be tasked to deliver social justice to people and allocate the needed resources to issues of the environment.

"The CPP is confident that our promise to the people of Ghana to rescue this country from environmental decay will be met." Mr Ladi Nylander, CPP Chairman, said those who thought the CPP was not a "serious party" should rethink and called on Ghanaians who agreed with the party's vision to join it.

In attendance of the press conference were Mr Bright Akwetey, Shadow Cabinet Minister of Justice, Mr George Aposika Aguddey, Shadow Cabinet Minister of the Interior and Hajia Hamdatu Ibrahim Haruna, Shadow Minister of Youth and Sports. 29 Sept. 10

Source: GNA
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