World Environment Day is an annual worldwide celebration for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
This event takes place every year on 5th June to remind the world of the need to protect and promote good environmental practices to ensure the world benefit from nature. A Rocha Ghana is one of the leading Environmental NGOs in Ghana and other parts of the world so much in love with protecting and promoting such good practices that will sustain the natural environment.
The program was held at the Damongo Nursing Training College Auditorium, on Tuesday 5th June, 2018.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Beat Plastic Pollution”.
Speaking at the event, Mr Elijah Kombian Fant, the deputy Coordinating Director for West Gonja, represented the District Chief Executive.
Welcoming participants to the program, he stated that there is ever increasing awareness and recognition of the fact that our ecosystem lies at the heart of any sustainable future we desire for. The welfare of humanity and the environment remains one of the greatest moral challenges of our time.
Mr Fant added that the northern savanna woodland is very significant as it provides ranges of ecological services.
However, the environment is faced with some challenges, saying;
‘The greatest threat facing our local communities is not just poverty but the environmental catastrophe as a result of the destructive and unsustainable levels of natural resources exploitation. Key among them are excessive charcoal production, bush burning, logging, Open defecation, plastic waste among others. These according to him have greater and negative impacts on the varied ecological services by the ecosystems.
On ways to improving the usage of plastic materials he called on the public to take innovative actions to keep the environment clean. He urged all to practice the habit of reducing the use of plastics. ‘If you can’t reuse it, refuse it’. he added.
He reminded all stakeholders to teach their children the right ways of keeping the environment and this will help make them better future citizens. He referred the participants to a verse in the Holy Bible, that states ‘teach the child the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it’.
According to him it is only through environmental education that we can shape lives and foster positive environmental attitudes, especially in our students and the youth who can also educate other members of their communities to bring up our children in a way and manner in which they would grow to appreciate nature. We all need to come together as stakeholders to address the environmental challenges.
He thanked the organizers of the event, A Rocha Ghana, for their continuous support to environmental stewardship in the district and beyond.
The Chairman for the program was Mr Mahama Seidu Amos, who is the Human Resource Director of the Ghana Education Service for the West Gonja district.
He advised the participants and the general public to learn more about the importance of the environment and ecosystem to the human kind.
‘The ecosystem provides us with valuable and wide variety of services including food, clean drinking water, medicine and other regulating services like climate change, impacts mitigation and adaptation. He stated.
Without these and many other ecosystem goods and services, life as we know won’t be possible’. I therefore urge you all to learn more about the values of environment to humanity.
Touching on the theme, he noted however that although plastics have many valuable uses but have severe environmental consequences on our natural places, our wildlife and our own health.
He entreated all of us to focus on sustainability, long-term solutions and also remember that we are doing that for our own benefit, the benefits of our children and generations yet unborn.
The Northern Sector Manager of A Rocha Ghana, Mr Godwin Evenyo Dzekoto advised the public to reduce the usage of plastic materials to save the environment. He urged the assembly or government to adopt the 3Rs approach.
That is the Reduce, Reuse and Recycling method to curb the increasing growing of plastic waste on our environment.
Government and the people must reuse the plastic in their own way instead of buying and using new plastics anytime there is a need.
Recycling of plastic is the best way to curb this menace, he added.
The best way for now is to reduce the usage of plastics to help save our environment.
The were supportive messages from EPA (Alkins Akuffo Addo), Mole National Park (Festus Agya-Yaw).
Both called on the stakeholders to put into use the good practices or actions to promote and keep the environment safe for this and the next generations.
The day’s activity saw a cultural display, poetry recital and drama by students of Ndewura Jakpa SHS, St. Anne’s Girls SHS and Presby JHS respectively. The celebration was climaxed with a quiz competition. The quiz was very successful and threw a lot of challenges to all students and teachers who were present from the various schools. Most teachers and pupils suggested that such programs should be organized more often to help raise the students’ interest in environmental issues. At the end of the competition, Yagbon JHS “A” emerged the winner whiles Jakpa JHS “B” and Damongo Girls Model placed second and third positions respectively. Each contestant took away a prize and a certificate of participation for all the schools.
The event was carried live on Damongo Community based radio station, PAD 95.1mhz.
The program was graced by religious leaders, some heads of departments, traditional leaders among others.
The program brought together about two hundred(200 ) students drawn from St. Anne’s Girls Senior High School, Ndewura Jakpa Senior High School.
Others include Presby JHS A and B, Jakpa JHS A and B, Yagbon JHS A and B, Laribanga E/A JHS and Mole D/A JHS.
Source: Abdulai Nuhu Zulka