Gov’t considering water guards to protect water bodies
The Chief Director at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Professor Patrick Agbesinyale, has disclosed that government is considering the training of personnel to guard the various water bodies in the country, particularly in the mining areas, to prevent human activities that destroy these water bodies.
He explained that there existed laws that were made mainly to protect water bodies, but people failed to observe them, thereby engaging in destructive activities, which led to contamination of these water bodies and their subsequent drying up.
The Chief Director, who was speaking at the launch of a project to protect River Dayi at Hohoe from further distraction through human activities, pointed out that natural resources like water bodies should be cherished and protected against all forms of human activities. This will ensure that both current and future generations derive maximum benefits from it.
The environmental protection project, dubbed ” Protect and Save River Dayi”, an initiative of Professor Agbesinyale and few environmentally-friendly persons, identified in 2017 the rapid way the River Dayi was drying up, and took measures to protect it. These measures include the formation of River Dayi Water Guards to, among other things, prevent human activities leading to contamination and drying up of the river.
Prof. Agbesinyale charged the water guards who since 2017 have been planting trees along the river and removing waste materials that had prevented the river from flowing to arrest anybody found violating existing laws that protect water bodies. He also called on the police and the courts to support the River Dayi restoration project by cooperating with management of the project to prosecute offenders.
Prof. Agbesinyale reminded Ghanaians that they should not engage in any activity, be it farming or building fifty meters to water bodies. He said it was rather unfortunate that people have taken the law into their hands and building houses, toilets, and even farming along water bodies, with reference to River Dayi. This development, he pointed out, would not be tolerated and urged the Hohoe Municipal Assembly to, as a matter of importance, implement vigorously environmental protection laws, as well as bylaws, to help protect water bodies from destruction.
According to Prof. Agbesinyale, 150,000 economic trees would be grown along River Dayi such as orange and mango among others, and asked chiefs to also educate their subjects on the need to protect water bodies like the River Dayi.
The Hohoe Municipal National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) Director, Mr. Hillary Gokel, commended the initiators of the project and pledged the support of his outfit to ensure that the project becomes successful, stressing that building on water ways and destructive activities was forcing the Dayi River to dry up nowadays.
He promised to provide additional personnel to support the Dayi River Guards whenever they embarked on tree planting, as well as complement their efforts through public education to draw attention about the need to protect water bodies in the municipality, particularly, River Dayi
A Senior Divisional Chief of Gbi Traditional Area and the Chief of Gbi-Atabu, Togbe Adzofuwusu IV, who chaired the function, observed that water bodies, and for that matter the Dayi River, remains one vital natural resources in that area, and that the drying up of the river was a major concern to the chiefs.
The Project Coordinator of “Save River Dayi”, Mr. Norbert Agbetsriku, disclosed that removal of waste materials from the river was one of the difficulties the guards faced in the discharge of their duties, saying the river could no longer flow naturally due to the waste dumped in it over the years. Mr. Agbetsriku continued that many people built toilets, bath house and connect the waste materials into the river.