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General News of Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Source: myjoyonline.com

'Ministry of Environment is Ghana's weakest ministry'

Former Head of the Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Presidency, Tony Aidoo has fingered the Ministry of Environment, Science and technology as the weakest ministry in Ghana.

With an environment riddled with filth, water bodies severely polluted and a boom in illegal mining, the ambassador-designate lamented the ministry "does not do what it is supposed to do".

His observation follows media discussion marking the one-year old administration of President John Mahama. Journalists are set to meet him to ask questions about his stewardship so far.

In discussing the president's one year performance on the Joy FM Super Morning Show, Tony Aidoo was highly disappointed with the performance of the Ministry of Environment.

The Ministry according to its website exists to "ensure accelerated socio-economic development of the nation through the formulation of sound policies and a regulatory frame work to promote the use of appropriate environmentally friend, scientific and technological practices and techniques".

The Ministry has four agencies under it. They are Town &Country Planning Department (TCPD), Centre For Scientific And Industrial Research (CSIR), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC).

Checks by Myjoyonline.com indicate Accra, Ghana's capital is struggling under a heavy weight of waste. The national capital generates over 2,500 tonnes of solid waste on daily basis.

Out of this, only 1500 tonnes, constituting 60 percent is collected and dumped at the landfill site. The other 40 percent is left unattended to, creating all forms of health risks to Ghanaians.

Pervasive destruction of natural resources caused by illegal mining forced President Mahama to involve five ministries to help contain the environmental menace.

Solving these problems, are "the prime responsibilities of the ministry and as long as they continue then the ministry is not doing well", Mr. Aidoo noted.

He continued, "my one problem over the years as I have observed in terms of the weak spot of many governments has been the ministry of environment. It is very very weak".

There has been at least 14 ministers and deputy ministers appointed to the ministry since 1993. The current minister is Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei.

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