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Ghanaians urged to live environmentally friendly lifestyles

BY: Prince Acquah

The Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE), Ghana, a non governmental organisation (NGO), went round Accra last Friday to sensitise the public to climate change.

Climate change has in recent times had severe effect on the world, particularly in Africa, resulting in less rainfall in most parts of the Sahel and Southern Africa, increase in rainfall in Central Africa and drought in places such as Somalia.

The situation is also seen as a major threat to economies in Africa and to the livelihoods of people living on the continent.

YRE and Greenway International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) engaged in tree planting later in the day marched to Parliament House bearing placards, some of which read; “switch to renewables, save our planet”, “Government must invest more in climate action”, Climate action now”, “Plant more trees”, “No future without climate action”, “No trees, no us” and “Climate action is our moral responsibility”.

Climate week

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The climate change campaign was a prelude to this year’s climate week celebrations which began on Monday and ends today, Friday March 22 in Accra.

During the week, both governmental and non-governmental organisations involved with the environment undertook a number of activities together aimed at achieving a better climate action towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Dangers

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Accra, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, expressed his discontent with the level of air pollution and poor waste management practices in the country.

He observed also that the kinds of buildings being put up in recent times were not environmentally friendly and were contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

“The rainfall pattern has changed completely and that has become a major threat to our economy since we depend largely on agriculture for our sustenance. We are unable to farm properly because predicting rains has become difficult. People living at the coasts face tidal waves now and then and this is affecting artisanal fishing,” he said.

Government’s Action

He said the government was taking steps to help improve the situation and urged the public to be circumspect in their actions to save the planet.
“We have a challenge that needs tackling and I am happy to see that the President is taking action,” he said.

Advice

For her part, the National Coordinator for YRE, Ms Ellen Lindsey Awuku, said increases in temperatures were as a result of global warming and could lead to natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

“If the tipping point is reached in about 12 years from now and the sea level should rise by 10cm or more, low lying lands are going to be covered by water. For us in Ghana, diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever and Ebola are going to be prevalent because the pathogens of such diseases thrive when temperatures are very high,” she said.

She, therefore, called on the public to ensure that every action they took was environmentally friendly.