Samuel Afari-Dartey, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, says Ghana will soon begin to import potable water if the nation continues to lose its forests cover.
According to him, the rate at which the nation’s forest reserves and off reserves were being destroyed was very alarming, stating that ‘it is destroying the watershed protection function of the forests.’
Mr Afari-Dartey made this known while answering questions from members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Land and Forestry at a workshop on Forestry and Environmental Concepts organized for them in Koforidua.
He said health problems such as respiratory diseases emanate from the loss of the forest cover and that all hands must be put on deck to save Ghana’s forests from further destruction.
‘Forestry Commission alone cannot control deforestation and degradation in this country; if community leaders and members will look on for the forests and land to be destroyed by illegal miners and tree felling then the challenge will persist,’ Afari-Dartey stressed.
He called for support from communities, land owners, law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to save Ghana’s natural resources from further destruction.
Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi, Deputy Minister for Land and Natural Resources, admitted that Ghana has a huge task ahead in addressing deforestation and said the government was doing its part to ameliorate it.
He however said a lot depended on stakeholders and technocrats to be creative in solving the problem.
‘Mostly, those of us who are supposed to be policing our resources are rather those facilitating the destruction; we are part of the problem,’ he said.
Mr. Terlabi called on Ghanaians and members of the Select Committee to assist the government to seek ways of maximizing the revenue base of the sector and also look for medium and long-term solutions to rosewood exploitation in the country.
The Forestry Commission organized the workshop for the Parliamentary Select Committee to enable the members have a better understanding of the forest sector.
Alhaji Amadu Seidu, Chairman of the Select Committee, said the knowledge gained would help the Committee perform its oversight responsibility well to help improve the forestry sector.
Pix saved in newdaily as Afari-Dartey
Caption: Samuel Afari-Dartey
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