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General News of Thursday, 21 July 2022


Improper management of solid waste main cause of land pollution in Ghana – Benito Owusu-Bio

Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio

Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu-Bio has attributed the excessive pollution of Ghana’s land to the indiscriminate disposal of solid waste materials in the country.

According to him, the earth’s climate is changing and it is caused by the actions and inactions of Ghanaians.

Speaking at the maiden Environmental Sustainability Summit organised by the Business & Financial Times (B&FT) under the theme “The Socio-Economic Impact of Pollution on Natural Life”, the minister said, “Scientific data show that the world’s climate is changing.

As a result, it calls for a concerted effort to reverse the trend and mitigate the effects of climate change on the world and our political systems. Though we are already seeing these effects, they will have a significant impact on natural resources, food, and water in the coming years.”

Mr. Owusu-Bio revealed that statistics show developing countries will bear the full brunt of the adverse effects of climate change due to their high vulnerability and low adaptation capacities.

“Rural populations who rely heavily on forests as the primary source of direct and indirect employment will be the most affected because those areas will be directly affected by any effect of climate change,” he added

He assured that the Ghanaian government supports any efforts that will protect the country from the negative effects of land degradation while also contributing to the fight against climate change.

The Environmental Sustainability Summit is an annual event designed to engage government institutions and universities with a focus on sustainability, CSOs, and other stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.

Why environmental sustainability is key

Recent data and figures on Ghana’s environmental sustainability performances continue to look bleak despite the efforts of the government.

Ghana, according to the Global Forest Watch, has lost a total of 1.41 million hectares of tree cover from 2001 to 2021 – equivalent to a 20 percent decrease in forest cover over the last twenty years, with 740 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

The report also indicated that the country’s deforestation rate is high and concentrated in areas of high poverty, with land use changing from forests to agricultural lands and causing close to 92 percent of forest degradation.

Equally, data from the Ministry of Finance indicate that since 1900 Ghana has lost over 8 million hectares of forest cover, with almost one million hectares lost in the last few years.
Since 1960, the average annual mean temperature according to the Finance Ministry has increased by one degree Celsius; the average number of hot days increased by about 13 percent, while the number of hot nights per year increased by 20 percent.

In 2017 alone, the effects of environmental degradation in Ghana, according to the MoF, were estimated at US$6.3billion.
Globally, an estimated loss of over 10 million hectares of tropical forests was recorded in 2020 alone.