EU Gives EPA 11 Drones For Monitoring

Ms Acconcia presenting a drone to Prof Frimpong-Boateng

The European Union (EU) has under its
Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (ARAP) supported the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with 11 professional drones for the
purpose of upscale in compliance monitoring.

The equipment which are to be deployed in small
scale mining operations and other areas of environmental compliance such as
noise pollution and oil and gas industry are to also provide additional data
that are critical for effective prosecutions of environmentally related crimes.

ARAP had previously engaged the EPA in series of
monitoring activities under its environmental governance project where two
drones and other gadgets were provided for the piloting of Information Technology
(IT) compliance monitoring tools in some mining areas that included Dunkwa Offin,
Konongo among other places.

A delegation led by the Head of EU delegation in Ghana, Diana Acconcia made a presentation of the second batch of equipment to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng at a ceremony held in Accra on Friday October 4, 2019.

Also present was the deputy minister, Patricia
Appiagyei together with officials of EPA led by Acting Executive Director, John
Pwamang and a team from ARAP led by team leader, Ana Sanchez.

Ms Acconcia in her remarks indicated that
transparency in the management of the environment and use of revenues from
natural resources that included extractive industries of mining as well as oil
and gas, has been identified as critical to the economy.

It was that reason she emphasised the need for
improving accountability standards and implementing reforms that would fight
corruption in areas of environment and natural resources.

She pledged the commitment of the EU in
cooperating with countries like Ghana who put the Nationally Determined
Contributions (NDCs) and the achievement of Paris Agreement targets at the core
of their action.

“An essential component of this plan is the
policy on plastic waste management which we expect a lot, given its alarming
impact in Ghana’s environment” she said.

The minister, Prof Frimpong-Boateng, classified
activities of humans that adversely affect the environment as acts of
corruption that need to be policed by agencies and other bodies who would rely
heavily on latest technologies and expertise to curb such activities.

He also expressed worry over the dire effect of
climate change which has resulted in change in rainfall pattern and prolonged seasons
that has either caused the drying up or flooding of water bodies, hence
affecting farming activities.

“When you come down south you will witness
coastal erosion as a result of rising sea levels where you have farmlands that are
filled with salt therefore making it impossible to farm or graze” he said.

By Issah Mohammed