Sunday, March 7, 2021

Celebrating World Environmental Day…. Is EPA Competent To Protect and Preserve Our Environment?

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The primary mandate of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect and preserve the Sierra Leonean environment, so that the country and inhabitants will realize the full benefit that comes with God’s natural gift which is the environment. What is expected to be this Environment? According to the EPA Act, Part II, Section 2 (1), the Environment includes, air, water and all plants, animals and human beings therein and the inter-relationship which exists between the aforementioned.

If The Voiceless is to say the truth, the EPA is not well capacitated to be a separate agency to man the environmental problems facing Sierra Leone. The staff of EPA are reportedly ill-equipped either academically or technologically. Yes! Majority of the employees have no direct relevance to green house emission, climate change, environmental degradation, conservation and sustainability/green scenery.

The Voiceless would want to authoritatively state here that the aforesaid reasons were some of the reasons why Sierra Leone was ranked as being one of the three most hazardous countries on environmental degradation and climate change.

 It is important to understand that the climate is changing and will continue to do so even if greenhouse gas emissions reduce, therefore, the core business of the EPA should not be limited to too much talking, all in the name of raising awareness. EPA should be involved in protecting and improving the environment for people and wildlife and contributing to sustainable development. It is important that we understand and respond to the factors that impact on these outcomes. Weather conditions are already a central consideration. Heavy rains, for example, wash chemicals and nutrients off farmlands into rivers and in addition, contribute to flooding by swelling streams and rivers.  That apart, temperature changes can also have significant impacts on wildlife and people.

Celebrating World Environment Day is welcoming news but what is the EPA celebrating? Or is the EPA joining the rest of the world for what can be best described in local parlance as for ‘FALAMAKATA’ sake? (Imitation). One will tend to query, assuming that Sierra Leone is without clean water, clean air, sustainable land, or living oceans, should we celebrate World Environmental Day? If this is so, then there is need to join the rest of the world and glorify God for the good things in life that are free He provided for the use of mankind. Indeed, it is important that we all do our parts to conserve, preserve and care for the earth’s resources as well as protecting the environment that sustains us with food, fuel, shelter, medicine and more.

The Voiceless cannot rule out the fact that Climate Change affects the earth’s water supply in number of ways. It is predicted that the mean global temperature will rise in the coming years due to a number of forces affecting the climate, the amount of atmospheric CO2 will rise and both of these will influence water resources. Evaporation depends strongly on temperature and moisture availability, which can ultimately affect the amount of water available to replenish ground water supplies. Similarly, a rise in global temperatures is also predicted to correlate with an increase in global precipitation; but because of increased runoff, floods, increased rates of soil erosion and mass movement of land, a decline in water quality is probable and as water carries more nutrients, it will also carry more contaminants.

Last Thursday 5th June, 2014, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with it partners Freetown joined the entire world in celebrating this years’ World Environment Day, on the theme: “Raise Your Voice, Not Sea Level.” The commemoration was held at the Miatta Conference Hall, Brookfields, West of Freetown.

During the ceremony, the EPA Executive Chairperson, Madam Haddijatou (Jatou) Jallow, said Sierra Leone joined over 100 countries to celebrate the World Environment Day. She said the event is to ensure a sustainable use of the environment. The ceremony, according to her, was geared towards raising voices and demand from policy makers a profound attention about the protection and preservation of the environment.

Madam Jallow further maintained that the event is also a call for solidarity for the small islands that are at risk of the impact of climate change and environmental degradation. She disclosed that the country’s coastline has been encroached by the sea due to sea rises. “This event is a call for action; action to maintain a safer environment,” she maintained while reiterating that climate change is real and remains a threat to national development.
Madam Jallow further said: “the event is for the world to reflect on the environment, how it was, how it is now and how we want to see it in the future. This date is also set aside to reflect and chart the way forward for the country’s growing population and development as environment plays a key role in every aspect of human development.”

The EPA Chairman passionately appealed to all well meaning Sierra Leoneans to join the Environmental Protection Agency and take action to ensure that a better and fruitful environment is left and well maintained for the future generation.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Representative, Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee said World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 of every year to raise global awareness and take positive environmental action to protect nature and the planet earth. He said the date was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 on the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began. He said the first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1973. Since then, he said, it is hosted every year by different countries with a different theme.

According to the UNDP Rep, the celebration is a call for all to care for the earth and garner effort to effect positive change for the good of the world. The theme for this year’s event, he went on, calls for all to protect, preserve and make good use of God’s given natural resources.

Sierra Leone, he said has tremendous potential for prosperity, adding that it is time for all to care for the environment for the development and growth of the country.

It therefore goes without saying that EPA must take this day to reflect on their activities, look at their enormous challenges and then try to overhaul the entire agency for a sustainable and safer environment.

Climate changes are caused by human activities, that is, due to negative attitude and lack of the political will to enforce the law in order to prevent environmental degradation and deforestation etc. The Voiceless is calling on all and sundry to come on board to protect the country’s rich environment for the good of all. This could only be the best way of ensuring conservation sanity for the good of every one.

The appeal coming from the Voiceless is directly in line with message from Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Support of World Environment Day 2014. Madam Figueres, affirmed that this is a year when nations need to lift their eyes beyond business as usual to one of greater ambition in order to deliver on a new and meaningful climate agreement in Paris in 2015.

The Voiceless is calling on the government to understudy the National Minerals Agency (NMA), which is independent in the discharge of its functions, but concertedly working with the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Resources. Compare and contrast NMA with EPA which is operating devoid of the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Country Planning and you will agree with the Voiceless’ claim that there is need for EPA to fuse functions with the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment.

This is the Pen of The Voiceless Sierra Leonean

Celebrating World Environmental Day….

 Is EPA Competent To Protect and Preserve Our Environment?

The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans were and are still asking why the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) separated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment? EPA was established by an Act of Parliament dated 11th September 2008 under No. 44 of the Sierra Leone Gazette.

The primary mandate of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect and preserve the Sierra Leonean environment, so that the country and inhabitants will realize the full benefit that comes with God’s natural gift which is the environment. What is expected to be this Environment? According to the EPA Act, Part II, Section 2 (1), the Environment includes, air, water and all plants, animals and human beings therein and the inter-relationship which exists between the aforementioned.

If The Voiceless is to say the truth, the EPA is not well capacitated to be a separate agency to man the environmental problems facing Sierra Leone. The staff of EPA are reportedly ill-equipped either academically or technologically. Yes! Majority of the employees have no direct relevance to green house emission, climate change, environmental degradation, conservation and sustainability/green scenery.

The Voiceless would want to authoritatively state here that the aforesaid reasons were some of the reasons why Sierra Leone was ranked as being one of the three most hazardous countries on environmental degradation and climate change.

 

It is important to understand that the climate is changing and will continue to do so even if greenhouse gas emissions reduce, therefore, the core business of the EPA should not be limited to too much talking, all in the name of raising awareness. EPA should be involved in protecting and improving the environment for people and wildlife and contributing to sustainable development. It is important that we understand and respond to the factors that impact on these outcomes. Weather conditions are already a central consideration. Heavy rains, for example, wash chemicals and nutrients off farmlands into rivers and in addition, contribute to flooding by swelling streams and rivers.  That apart, temperature changes can also have significant impacts on wildlife and people.

Celebrating World Environment Day is welcoming news but what is the EPA celebrating? Or is the EPA joining the rest of the world for what can be best described in local parlance as for ‘FALAMAKATA’ sake? (Imitation). One will tend to query, assuming that Sierra Leone is without clean water, clean air, sustainable land, or living oceans, should we celebrate World Environmental Day? If this is so, then there is need to join the rest of the world and glorify God for the good things in life that are free He provided for the use of mankind. Indeed, it is important that we all do our parts to conserve, preserve and care for the earth’s resources as well as protecting the environment that sustains us with food, fuel, shelter, medicine and more.

The Voiceless cannot rule out the fact that Climate Change affects the earth’s water supply in number of ways. It is predicted that the mean global temperature will rise in the coming years due to a number of forces affecting the climate, the amount of atmospheric CO2 will rise and both of these will influence water resources. Evaporation depends strongly on temperature and moisture availability, which can ultimately affect the amount of water available to replenish ground water supplies. Similarly, a rise in global temperatures is also predicted to correlate with an increase in global precipitation; but because of increased runoff, floods, increased rates of soil erosion and mass movement of land, a decline in water quality is probable and as water carries more nutrients, it will also carry more contaminants.

 Last Thursday 5th June, 2014, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with it partners Freetown joined the entire world in celebrating this years’ World Environment Day, on the theme: “Raise Your Voice, Not Sea Level.” The commemoration was held at the Miatta Conference Hall, Brookfields, West of Freetown.

During the ceremony, the EPA Executive Chairperson, Madam Haddijatou (Jatou) Jallow, said Sierra Leone joined over 100 countries to celebrate the World Environment Day. She said the event is to ensure a sustainable use of the environment. The ceremony, according to her, was geared towards raising voices and demand from policy makers a profound attention about the protection and preservation of the environment.

Madam Jallow further maintained that the event is also a call for solidarity for the small islands that are at risk of the impact of climate change and environmental degradation. She disclosed that the country’s coastline has been encroached by the sea due to sea rises. “This event is a call for action; action to maintain a safer environment,” she maintained while reiterating that climate change is real and remains a threat to national development.

Madam Jallow further said: “the event is for the world to reflect on the environment, how it was, how it is now and how we want to see it in the future. This date is also set aside to reflect and chart the way forward for the country’s growing population and development as environment plays a key role in every aspect of human development.”

The EPA Chairman passionately appealed to all well meaning Sierra Leoneans to join the Environmental Protection Agency and take action to ensure that a better and fruitful environment is left and well maintained for the future generation.

 
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Representative, Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee said World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 of every year to raise global awareness and take positive environmental action to protect nature and the planet earth. He said the date was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 on the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began. He said the first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1973. Since then, he said, it is hosted every year by different countries with a different theme.

According to the UNDP Rep, the celebration is a call for all to care for the earth and garner effort to effect positive change for the good of the world. The theme for this year’s event, he went on, calls for all to protect, preserve and make good use of God’s given natural resources.

Sierra Leone, he said has tremendous potential for prosperity, adding that it is time for all to care for the environment for the development and growth of the country.

It therefore goes without saying that EPA must take this day to reflect on their activities, look at their enormous challenges and then try to overhaul the entire agency for a sustainable and safer environment.

Climate changes are caused by human activities, that is, due to negative attitude and lack of the political will to enforce the law in order to prevent environmental degradation and deforestation etc. The Voiceless is calling on all and sundry to come on board to protect the country’s rich environment for the good of all. This could only be the best way of ensuring conservation sanity for the good of every one.

The appeal coming from the Voiceless is directly in line with message from Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Support of World Environment Day 2014. Madam Figueres, affirmed that this is a year when nations need to lift their eyes beyond business as usual to one of greater ambition in order to deliver on a new and meaningful climate agreement in Paris in 2015.

The Voiceless is calling on the government to understudy the National Minerals Agency (NMA), which is independent in the discharge of its functions, but concertedly working with the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Resources. Compare and contrast NMA with EPA which is operating devoid of the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Country Planning and you will agree with the Voiceless’ claim that there is need for EPA to fuse functions with the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment.

This is the Pen of The Voiceless Sierra Leonean

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