A 12-member Sakumo Ramsar Committee has been inaugurated by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) to check encroachment on the Sakumo wetlands.

The committee members comprised of representatives of the Tema Traditional Council (TTC), National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Forestry Commission, Tema Development Corporation (TDC), Town and Country Planning, among other stakeholders.

The about 1,364 hectares of Sakumo Ramsar site covers parts of Tema community three, five, six, 11 and 12, through to the Sakumono village, old Lashibi, and Klagon.

The site which used to be a habitat for fishes and other water creatures as well as served as a stopover for migrating birds, currently has a large portion being encroached upon by individuals and estate developers.

Sakumo Ramsar site which is also used by farmers to cultivate vegetables during the dry season has also been turned into a refuse dumping site which is gradually killing aquatic life in the wetland.

The terms of reference for the committee include liaising with the Ghana Survey Department to locate and identify the boundaries of the Ramsar site.

Members are also to erect marked pillars on top of earth mounds, properly protect the buffer zones.

Other terms are the restoration of the ecosystem of the lagoon and areas outside the site where feeder streams join the Sakumo Lagoon.

They are also to ensure the dredging of the front of the lagoon by opening of the channel for invasive plants on it to be removed, to enable fishermen to fish.

Committee members are also to identify structures and owners of property sites who have encroached and have to be removed, as well as remove slums along the Sakumono railways adjacent to the Ramsar Site.

They are also to decongest Cambodia slum environs and come out with timelines in dealing with issues in affected areas as well as provide other relevant suggestions and recommendations.

The TMA also inaugurated a Sanitation Committee which has 12 terms of reference to improve sanitation in the Metropolis.

GNA