Chiefs can help scientists
From: KINGSLEY E. HOPE, Kumasi
THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, says the application of science and technology to ensure sustainable environmental sanitation in the country is achievable with traditional authorities leading the way in using bio-based technology to combat pollution and other forms of environmental degradation.
“Traditional authorities are the custodians of culture and we can envision them partnering the district assemblies to create and use the clean technology to access good drinking water, and to reduce the prevalence of water-borne diseases”, he emphasized.
He explained that the partnership, if carefully nurtured, should ensure that communities in all the districts would organize identifiable groups to clean the streets, hospitals and markets, desilt drains and gutters, clear weeds and refuse as “means of supplementing the efforts of the assemblies which are charged with the task of keeping human habitats clean.
The Asantehene was worried that some individuals tend to recklessly and irresponsibly degrade and pollute the environment using a vas array of “unclean technology” such as plastic poultices, the burning of fossil oil for transportation, cooking, lighting and cooling instead of using bio-fuels such as bio-ethanol, bio-diesel, bio-gas, all being cheaper and safe technologies.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said this in a speech read for him at the celebration of the African Scientific Renaissance Day organized by the Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) of the Council for Scientific and industrial Research (CSIR).
It was under the theme, “Clean technology for sustainable environmental sanitation”, and coincided with an exhibition of research products of the CSIR.
The Asantehene did not understand why the environment continued to pose serious threats to the well-being of millions of Ghanaians regardless of their economic status stressing”. “In every nook and cranny of this country we see huge deposits of refuse”.
He said the time had come for all and sundry to find tangible and scientific means of nipping the problem in the bud before it overwhelms all.
Nothing that there are 13 scientific institutions under the CSIR, said the “it is only through the concerted efforts of our scientists that we can effectively develop, promote and maintain healthy sanitation practices based on scientific innovations, to enable us reverse the spiral of disease and death that result from our inability to preserve the quality of the environment that we live in”, he intimated.
The Asantehene therefore, challenged the CSIR and the scientists to come up with a model for improving environmental sanitation in the Ashanti Region and the nation as a whole.
He said, the model should be a point of departure for solving the environmental sanitation problems in other parts of the country ad pledged the continued support of Asanteman in the drive towards finding a lasting solution to the perils that poor environmental sanitation brings in its wake.
The Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, E.K. Omane Boamah said Ghana has no choice but to pay attention to technology and innovation to address the huge sanitation problems.
“In order to fully meet the ideals of sustainable development, there is an emphasis on using technologies that are not harmful to the environment and which calls for increased demand on Scientists to be innovative in designing clean technologies”, he said.
The Deputy Minister called for a stronger partnership between the government, industry and the CSIR to inspire excellence in the technology development agenda and emphasized that the president, J.E. Attah Mills is committed to this cause”.
The Ghanaian Times Page: 20 Thursday, July 2, 2009