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General News of Friday, 20 August 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Deputy Lands Minister orders immediate closure of landfill at Sakumono Ramsar site

Benito Owusu-Bio with members of the committee during the inspection Benito Owusu-Bio with members of the committee during the inspection

Benito Owusu-Bio, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources has demanded the immediate shutdown of landfill site at the Sakumono Ramsar site.

Owusu-Bio came across the place reserved for the dumping of waste during an inspection and charged the Forestry Commission to as a matter of urgency close down it down.

The deputy Minister was not impressed especially with some illegal activities on the land which he reckons is making it lose its value.

He promised that the government will make expeditious moves to restore the glory of the site which is one of five Ramsar sites in the country.

“What is going on here. This cannot happen. This landfill site must go because this not the place. I want you to remove it and if we have to go to court to do right thing, so be it but I want it gone within days,” he charged.

Owusu Bio was also appalled by activities of encroachers on the 1,363 hectare land which used to be the habitat of seashore birds belonging to 66 species.

Later in the day, Benito Owusu-Bio inaugurated a five-member committee which have been tasked to provide a roadmap on protecting the Ramsar site from encroachment and other illegal activities.

“The Ministry has received several petitions from individual and some Civil Society Groups on the current threat to the Ramsar Site and the need for urgent intervention from Government against further encroachment of the remaining wetland,”he said.

“The situation is quite alarming as the population of migratory birds that are recorded annually has dwindled over the years and the area is gradually losing its significance as a wetland of international recognition,” he added.

Below is the mandate of the Sakumon Ramsar site committee

* Identify detailed reasons why the Sakumono Ramsar Site is degraded and losing its ecological functions,

* Establish the extent of degradation and encroachment on the area

* Identify the major groups and individuals involved in encroaching on the area and who is responsible for allocating land for sale.

The Committee is expected to submit its report to the Minister within 4 weeks from the day of inauguration.

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