Rescuers search for missing people in Bailong Lake of Guangyuan, southwest China's Sichuan Province, June 5, 2016. A leisure boat carrying 18 people capsized on the Lake due to strong gales Saturday afternoon. One child died and 14 people remain missing. [Photo/Xinhua]
Rescuers search for missing people in Bailong Lake of Guangyuan, southwest China's Sichuan Province, June 5, 2016. A leisure boat carrying 18 people capsized on the Lake due to strong gales Saturday afternoon. One child died and 14 people remain missing. [Photo/Xinhua]

People, engaged in farming right inside the buffer zone of the Bosomtwe Lake, are being provided with alternative livelihood as efforts to stop the increasing pollution and other destructive activities threatening the natural lake, intensified.

They are now being taught bee-keeping, mushroom farming, grass cutter rearing and other income generating activities.

Growing population has increased demand for fish and excessive fishing, which has led to steadily decreasing catches, forcing increased reliance on agriculture.

As more and more of the hills are converted into farmland, exposing the surface to the heavy rainfalls, soil erosion has become an even-greater problem.

Mr. Noble Afrifa Yamoah, the Chairman of the Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) of the Lake Bosomtwe Biosphere Reserve, said farmers in five out of the 24 communities had already been trained.

He added that the remaining communities would be covered to save the lake, a popular resort for both Ghanaian holiday makers and foreigners.

He was speaking at a stakeholders meeting held to discuss the sustainable management of the lake at Abono in the Bosomtwe District.

Mr. Yamoah complained about the situation where many hotels had been operating in the area without an Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) permit.

He said how waste they generated was disposed of remained unknown, adding that, this was presenting a difficulty.

There was the added challenge of chiefs selling lands that served as buffer to investors.

Mr. Yamoah highlighted the urgent need to properly demarcate the buffer zones to ward off encroachers.

Mrs. Dufie Wiredu, Pra Basin Secretariat Officer, asked all to work together to ensure sustainable management of the lake – recognized as a biosphere reserve by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The District Planning Officer, Mr. Ebenezer Kwame Amofah, said the assembly had improved the illumination and security systems in the area to protect tourists.
GNA/newsghana.com.gh

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