Pressure group, Coalition for the Development of Ghanaians (CODGHA,) is appalled at the wanton destruction and pollution along the country?s coast, especially in Bortianor, Tsokome and Labadi in Accra.

A statement signed and copied to Today by the Director of Research and Editorial Policy of CODGHA, Dr. Ishmael Mensah, in Accra yesterday, said an investigation by the group to ascertain the environmental impact of coastal resorts in the country confirmed widespread destruction of the coastal ecosystem.

According to the statement, some of the issues identified bordered on littering, discharge of sewage directly into the sea and the Densu Estuary, defecation at certain portions of the coastline and dumping of waste in close proximity to the sea.

The group discovered that some of the hotels discharged their sewage either directly into the sea or the Densu Estuary.

?For instance, some resorts in Tsokome and Bortianor had their bathrooms located right at the bank of the estuary where tourists could wash down after bathing in the sea. This could have serious implication for aquatic life in the estuary,? the statement revealed.

It noted that some of the locals tend to defecate at certain portions along the coast and some communities had their refuse dumps in close proximity to the sea especially in the Bortianor community.

?There were instances where refuse produced by some hotels had been kept there for weeks suggesting that some hotels did not constantly clean their surroundings on a daily basis,? it noted.

According to him, ?the only high rise buildings in the communities were found out to be coastal resorts, suggesting that the design of hotel buildings are different in terms of style, shape and architecture thereby constituting architectural pollution,? it said.

The statement emphasised that since the locals themselves have some negative impacts on the environment, there is the need for environmental awareness creation to sensitize the locals on the health and economic implications of poor sanitation.

It further stressed the need for government to pay serious attention to the sanitation conditions of the country as current world ranking in respect to sanitary conditions is likely to have some negative implications for our tourism industry.

It added that the environmental protection agencies should strengthen and empower inspection teams in order to ensure that, coastal resorts adhere strictly to the environmental laws of the country as some of the hotels were operating without environmental permits.

The statement urged the hotels to collaborate with other stakeholders such as youth associations and District Assemblies to periodically clean the beaches and also serve as watch dogs which would put off some locals from defecating at certain portions of the beach.

To this end, it called on the Ghana Tourism Authority, Environmental Protection Agency and relevant District Assemblies to collaborate with the appropriate stakeholders in finding a lasting solution to the appalling filth and pollution that has engulfed our beaches, as it is having serious negative impacts on the Tourism Industry.

STORY: KORYEKPOR AWLESU FREEMAN

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