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Regional News of Sunday, 29 June 2014

Source: GNA

EPA to establish miniature botanical garden

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has acquired more than 100 acres of land at Danfa, off the Dodowa road in the Greater Accra region to be developed into a miniature botanical garden and also as a research facility.

“The land will be developed into a natural inspired state-of-the art facility that will take care of environmental technologies like rain harvesting, biogas and turning waste into energy”, Mrs Angelina Ama Tutuah Mensah, Chief Programme Officer in charge of Public Relations at the EPA disclosed to the Ghana News Agency on Friday.

She explained that at the ground, which would be used for educational purposes, energy saving bulbs would be used while exotic and endemic plants would be planted to offset greenhouse gases. On the sides of the 40th anniversary forum of the EPA held in Accra, Mrs Mensah told the GNA that the EPA had also planted 4,000 trees in Accra alone and had given another 1,000 seedlings to the Ghana Education Service to be planted in schools as a means of protecting the environment.

The forum, which discussed the “state of waste management in Ghana, water resources management, energy resources management and food safety and chemical use” was attended by various stakeholders as well as representatives of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAS).

Mrs Mensah said similar regional fora would be organised by the EPA all over the country to engage citizens on environmental management. She said as part of the anniversary, EPA was calling for papers from academia, researchers and other individuals to inform policy as to the way forward to managing the environment.

She in October, the anniversary would be climaxed with an awards night which would be attended by the Head of the United Nations Environment Programme and Representatives of the West Africa Environmental Protection Agencies.

Meanwhile, the EPA in partnership with Ghana Television is bringing back on GTV, the Captain Planet cartoon series this July, to whip up the interest of both young and old into forming a habit of protecting the environment. Mr John Pwamang, Deputy Executive Director in charge of Field Operation, EPA said there was the need to develop and implement special programmes targeting young people in educational institution to learn to segregate waste..

There should also be a collection and recycling of metal cans awareness campaigns while Assemblies should use the EPA manual to develop and implement District Waste Management Plans as well as healthcare facilities using the EPA guidelines to develop strategies for managing healthcare wastes.

“We should also re-introduce the monthly communal cleanup campaigns to inculcate the spirit of cleanliness. The cost of collecting, processing and disposing of waste is very huge but if addressed through the correct combination of policies, waste management can deliver economic, social and environmental benefits”, Mr Pwamang said.

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