The Ho Municipal Assembly has put in place a plan to protect the environment to help sustain the status of the Municipality as ‘the only oxygen city in the country.’ The assembly has also urged the adjoining assemblies – Adaklu, Agortime-Ziope and Ho-West – to join the campaign.
The Municipal Planning Officer, Mr. Wahabu Zakari, who made this known at a stakeholder forum in Ho, explained that the inclusion of the three districts in the development plan was strategic, because the actions and inactions of the three districts would affect the Ho Municipality.
Mr. Zakari said his outfit had identified bush burning as a major threat to efforts they were making to protect the environment, and that the Assembly, in collaboration with the other districts, would form an inter-assembly bush-fire taskforce to protect the environment against bush fires.
The Assembly also has plans to deal with climate change, pollution, and loss of biodiversity in the Municipality.
The Planning Officer disclosed that under the plan to make Ho ‘the oxygen city of Ghana’, the Assembly would soon start the implementation of a programme dubbed ‘One house five trees’, which would ensure that landlords plant five tree before building permits are given to them.
Mr. Zakari continued that in the case of existing households, the Assembly, in collaboration with the Forestry Commission (FC), would provide seedlings to the landlords for planting.
To help improve tourism in the Ho township, he disclosed that the Assembly intended to construct walkways for easy climbing of the ‘Kabakaba Hills’.
He also spoke about the establishment of an ‘Oxygen City’ information centre with hotel facilities, which would be managed by the private sector.
The centre would provide information about all the tourist sites in the Municipality to visiting tourists.
Mr. Zakari also disclosed that the Assembly had plans to improve upon the road networks in the area, including the provision of bicycle lanes, construction of a commercial car-park. According to him, upon the completion of the latter, all car owners would be required to park their cars at the car park and ride bicycles to town to help limit carbon emission.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Divine Bosson, on his part, appealed to local and international investors to come and support the Assembly to achieve the vision the Planning Officer had outlined.
The Volta Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr. Hope Smith Lomotey, said it took his outfit years of scientific research before accepting the fact that the Ho Municipality had gained the status of ‘Oxygen City.
He cautioned the residents to adhere strictly to environmental protection practices to sustain the high level of oxygen found in the area.
Mr. Lomotey, however, explained that even though there was a high level of oxygen in Ho, the residents needed to increase it, because scientifically plants competed with human beings in the night to use oxygen, which could reduce the high level in Ho in future.