Minister tasks EPA to address environmental challenges with urgency

Madam Ophelia Mensah Hayford, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, has tasked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt innovative strategies to ensure that environmental issues are fully integrated into development processes.

She said environmental challenges relating to illegal mining and logging, waste management particularly plastics waste, deforestation, air, noise and water pollution, among others, had become complex and should be tackled with urgency.

Madam Hayford issued the directive when she launched the 50th Anniversary celebration of the EPA in Accra on Thursday.

The Agency’s year-long golden jubilee commemoration is on the theme: ’50 years of environmental protection: Achievements, challenges and the future.’

Madam Hayford expressed concern about the destruction of Ghana’s water systems and estimated that the country would require about 40 million dollars yearly as capital expenditure in urban and rural water supply.

Referring to the 2023 Global Forest W
atch Report, she said the country had lost an estimated 110,000ha of her natural forest.

Madam Hayford said all the environmental challenges required innovative technologies to address the issue sustainably.

‘As the Agency celebrates its golden jubilee, it must pay urgent attention to the environmental challenges faced by the country such as climate change, biodiversity loss, water pollution and land degradations.

‘To effectively tackle these challenges, the EPA must continue to evolve and embrace innovative technologies and integrated solutions, continue to build local and international partnership and collaborate with all relevant stakeholders,’ she added.

The EPA, originally known as the Environmental Protection Council (EPC), was established in 1974, and served as an advisory body to the Government on matters relating to the environment.

The EPA was formally established on December 30, 1994, and given the responsibility of regulating the environment and ensuring the implementation of Government polic
ies on the environment.

Dr John Kingsley Krugu, Executive Director, EPA, said the Agency had made tremendous progress in the sustainable management of the environment and played significant roles in addressing global environmental issues.

He mentioned the development of Environmental Education for Basic Schools-Teachers’ Source Book, development of National Oil Spill Contingency Plan, establishment of Eco Levy Fund, development of the Ghana Standards for Environmental Quality, enactment of the Environment Protection Bill as among the achievements of the Agency.

Dr Krugu said the protection of the environment was a collective responsibility and appealed to the public to support efforts by the Agency to protect the environment.

‘We must double our commitments and take action to preserve our environment and planet,’ he said.

Professor Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Board Chairman, EPA, urged the Agency to evaluate its actions in the last five decades and draw lessons to continuously safeguard the environment from de

Source: Ghana News Agency