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Gravel Pits in Yendi District Not Reclaimed

2006-12-13 22:29:55
This article has been read 798 times.

Some 84 gravel pits, covering about 97 hectares of land and located along major roads in the Yendi District have not been reclaimed, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research has indicated.

An EPA research carried out in the Yendi District found out that large-scale sand and gravel winning by road contractors without any efforts to reclaim such lands was causing land degradation and threatening food security in the Northern Region.

Mr. Edward Telly, the Northern Regional Director of the EPA, said in a speech to mark this year's "World Environmental Day" at Chereponi in the Saboba District, that the three northern regions were heading towards desertification if care was not taken to stem the threat. He said the three regions were gradually facing desert conditions because of negative environmental practices such as bush burning, unsustainable agricultural methods, overgrazing and sand and gravel winning.

"It is estimated that bushfires cause Ghana an annual loss of two per cent of the gross domestic product. About one billion cedis worth of agricultural produce are lost annually through bushfires," he said. Mr. Telly said about 83,489 kilometres of land area in Ghana, representing 35 per cent, was said to be prone to desertification. The Upper East Region and the eastern parts of the Northern Region covering 78,718 kilometres or 33 per cent of land area, was prone to desertification, he said.

He urged research institutions to develop innovative farming practices and efficient water harvesting techniques to help small-scale farmers to benefit from good soil conservation to promote high agricultural productivity.

District Assemblies should collaborate with the appropriate government agencies to facilitate the control and prevention of bushfires and encourage the judicious use of natural resources. Mr. Sanda Azuma, Saboba/Chereponi District Chief Executive, urged the people to take keen interest in tree planting to serve as windbreaks and on their farms to improve soil fertility. He said the assembly would reactivate the District Environmental Management Committee and provide it with resources to function efficiently to address environmental challenges in the area.


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