The EPA is the main government agency in charge of all issues concerning the environment and climate change. The Agency’s Chairman says Ahmed Nanoh; the Executive Secretary of SLeCAD “erroneously insinuated that the EPA-SL was levying the same quantum of fees on small and local agribusiness companies as the mining companies.”
Prof. Jaward said the recent suspension of the operations of Benni-mix Company by his agency was on the basis of Nanoh’s agitation and media gimmicks against.
“The EPA-SL considers Mr. Nano’s utterances as malicious, deceitful and a ploy to undermine public confidence in the work of the Agency.”
Jaward said Benni-mix Company failed to acquire an Environment Impact Assessment licence, which is in contravention of the EPA’s Act of 2008 as amended in 2010.
He said the Act criminalizes all operations conducted in contravention of their statutory requirement, and gives the Agency power to “direct the immediate cessation of the offending activity where it considers that the circumstances so demand”.
He said the EPA-SL and the Benni-mix Company are in negotiation to settle issue. Jaward said the company has made undertakings not to do anything harmful to the environment and that they would conclude the EIA process by the end of November 2019.
“The EPA-SL Executive Chairman magnanimously authorised the reopening of the company to enable them carry out certain activities incidental to their core operations”, Jaward wrote.
He assured the public of the Agency’s “unwavering commitment to environmental protection in Sierra Leone”