Mr Osei Kofi said his prediction may come to pass if the rampant felling of trees and illegal mining activities in the country’s forest reserves continue indiscriminately as currently being witnessed.

Portable drinking water

The forests and wildlife, he bemoaned continue to face serious threats of degradation due to the aforementioned factors which eventually lead to drying up of many water bodies.

“We must do something or we will be importing drinking water, he said, adding, “If care is not taken, we will be importing water in the next five years or we will have to go the expensive way of using sea water.”

Mr Osei Kofi raised the concerns at the launch of the 5th Forestry Week and Greening Ghana Day in Accra early this week. The week-long celebrations began last Saturday, May 21 and ends today, Friday, May 27. Celebrated on the theme, Forests and Water for Sustaining Lives and Livelihoods, the commemoration was meant to provide the opportunity to educate the public on the relationship between forests and water bodies, which are essential elements for lives and livelihoods of mankind.

The Deputy Chief of Staff proposed an inter- ministerial collaboration among the ministries of Lands and Natural Resources; Interior; Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation as well as Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs to strategize in order to end the menace.

“We must do this to save our forest and water bodies; if we don’t act fast in five years, water resources in this country will suffer,” he re-echoed.

He hinted that government has advanced in discussions to use some of the forest reserves as military training sites in order to protect the forests and also to provide security for the communities around the reserves.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Nii Osah Mills said water and forests are essential needs for every household in Ghana and all over the world; and therefore any effort to preserve the resources in any form will mean preserving them for the people and their livelihood.

Hon. Osah Mills noted that, “Water is a vital element of all natural resources and essential to life. But availability and quality of fresh water in many regions of the world is increasingly endangered by overuse, misuse and pollution.”

The Minister said due to growing imbalance between water supply and demand for all over the world, especially in developing countries there is an increasing need for ensuring adequate water quality and quantity.

He emphasised that, “forests have a close relationship to our water resources and hence sustainable forest management is of vital importance for the supply of good-quality fresh water, protection against natural hazards like floods or soil erosion and for combating desertification.”

The Minister, observed that the greatest challenge facing the nation presently is how to preserve the forests and water resources to ensure that they continue to provide the economic, social, cultural and environmental services to the current and future generations.

Source: Public Agenda
By Mohammed Suleman


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