A document that will serve as a guide to protect and conserve water bodies has been launched in Accra.
An initiative of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and the Water Resources Commission, the national riparian buffer zone policy is intended to protect, regenerate and maintain the natural vegetative cover in the buffer zones to improve on water quality.
It provides the procedures for managing and controlling socio-economic, bio-physical and human- induced activities along river banks.
The policy states that the management of riparian buffer zones shall include specific limitations on alteration of the natural conditions in some areas.
It says that clearing or grubbing of existing vegetation, clearing and cutting of trees, soil disturbance via practices such as grading and stripping shall be restricted within the buffer zone, except with the prior approval by the appropriate authorising agency.
Other restricted activities include filling and dumping of waste, the use, storage or application of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.
In a speech read on his behalf to launch the document, the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda, said a visit to the banks of water bodies in most parts of the country revealed evidence of abuse of water resources.
“Our actions and inaction have contributed to the degraded lands, resulting in perennial drying of rivers and streams in our various communities.
Alhaji Dauda said the need for new approaches in terms of policy, investments and governance that could help to better manage water in an inclusive way now and in the future to ensure the sustainability of lives had precipitated the institution of the policy.
According to him, making the outlined policy decision practically workable, especially at the national and district levels, is going to be a challenging task.
Writers email doreen.andoh @graphic.com.gh
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