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Regional News Fri, 22 May 2009

President of Central University College urges ban on plastic sachet water

Accra, May 22, GNA - Professor Victor Yao Gadzekpo, President of the Central University College (CUC) on Thursday called for a ban on the production of plastic sachet water in the country. He said the plastic bag, which is not biodegradable, posed real danger to the environment.

Prof Gadgekpo, who was speaking at a public lecture on climate change and its impact on the environment, suggested that producers of bagged water should be made to use biodegradable materials. The lecture, which was attended by students and some members of the public, was organized by the Department of Environment and Development Studies of the College in Accra.

It was on the theme: "Climate change: Impact and adaptation strategies for Ghana".

Prof Gadgekpo urged the government to enact a law against the importation of used refrigerators, saying their gas emissions equally posed great risk to the environment.

Dr Steve Duadze, a lecturer at the Department of Environment and Development Studies of the CUC, called for concerted efforts by the government and citizens to reduce the effect of greenhouse gas emissions, which he said, was a major cause of global warming, leading to climate change.

He said the increasing global temperature could have dire consequences for Ghana's agriculture production, as well as water resources, health, biodiversity, energy and industry. As a result of the climate change, underground water supply would reduce by five to 22 percent by 2020 and this would affect communities that depend on bore holes and other underground water systems for drinking and sanitation, Dr Duadze warned.

He said temperature rise would also lead to soil and surface water loss through evaporation, placing additional stress on resources regardless of changes in rainfall.

The impact of climate change could lead to silting of rivers and lakes due to deforestation and erosion which in the long run affect fish breeding. Besides, the salinization of coastal lagoons may kill the fishes and destroy its habitats and population, he added.

Dr Duadze said weather changes could cause low rainfall, high temperatures and strong winds with the potential to exacerbate bush fires, deplete the biodiversity and create fire climax vegetation. He recommended the use of appropriate water conservation practices such as options that would enhance recharge and storage of accessible underground water systems.

He called for the cultivation of drought-tolerant crops such as cassava and early maturing crops in times of harsh weather conditions caused by the climate change.

He also stressed the need for change in land use intensification and extension of farming to underutilized land, alley cropping and cropping in moist valley bottoms. 22 May 09

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Source: GNA