Editorial: Let’s keep our coastal areas clean

The Graphiconline.com yesterday published a story about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some hoteliers, and residents of Elmina embarking on a clean-up exercise to rid the beaches off filth to mark this year’s World Environment Day. The exercise was in partnership with Zoomlion Ghana.

The groups undertook a three-hour exercise, cleaning and weeding the beaches. The clean-up exercise targeted three communities, which included Anlo, Mbofra Akyinim and Bantuma, all in Elmina.

The residents were joined by various stakeholders, including personnel from the Municipal Environmental Health Department and the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem Municipal Assembly.

The Central Regional Director of the EPA, Shine Fiagome, said each year over 400 million tonnes of plastics were produced, and 14 million ended up in the sea, adding that this was causing a lot of problems to marine life and the ecosystem.

He said it was important to make the communities aware of the negative effects of plastics on the environment, and encouraged them to adopt more responsible attitudes.

The Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) Municipal Environmental Officer, Alvin Mensah Robertson, added that the Assembly had embarked upon public awareness education to help change environmental habits and ensure a cleaner environment.

He advised the communities to ensure refuse was disposed of at the appropriate places to reduce environment pollution and the spread of diseases.

The Chronicle commends EPA, Zoomlion Ghana and all the other stakeholders for embarking on such a clean-up exercise to keep our coastal areas clean. The ocean is the largest ecosystem on Earth.

It covers 71% of the planet’s surface area and is responsible for regulating the climate. Unfortunately, tonnes of plastics and waste materials end up in our oceans as a result of littering and improper waste management practices.

Keeping the oceans clean starts with each of us, and The Chronicle will urge the various Municipal and District assemblies to get into partnership with the EPA and Zoomlion Ghana to run a cleaning and maintenance programme for the beaches and water bodies.

Beaches serve as tourist attraction, but Ghana is not very much known for beautiful and clean beaches.

One of the first things a foreigner notices when he or she arrives at the Kotoka International Airport is a huge sign that reads: “Welcome to Ghana, the Gateway to Africa.” We must not make this an idle boast for the foreigners who visit our country.

A country like Kenya is using its spectacular natural beauty and abundant wildlife to create Safari destinations which are a major foreign exchange earner for the country. On the average, about 1.1 million people visit Kenya annually.

Ghana must make an intentional effort to create a beautiful sand shoreline to make the beaches attractive and attract tourists, which in the long run will boost our tourism sector.

A hygienic and clean beach is of paramount importance to enhance the ecosystem and help create a beautiful sand shoreline for residents and visitors alike. Beach clean-ups are also vital to mitigate the problem caused by ocean debris and the danger that plastic pollution poses to marine life.

It is on this note that The Chronicle urges the EPA and Zoomlion not to end what they have started, but partner with various Municipal and District assemblies along the coast to embark on clean-up exercises to rid the beaches off filth and to make them one of Africa‘s cleanest beaches.


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