Monday, May 14, 2007
BOTI FALLS UNDER THREAT
BOTI Falls, one of the country’s famous tourist sites, is under treat of destruction through farming activities along River Pompom, its main source.
By: STEPHEN K. EFFAH & EMMANUEL MENSAH
Bad farming practices cause the dry-up of the waterfalls every year between December and April, according to studies carried out last year.
The studies undertaken by the National Biodiversity Committee (NBC) in the Yilo Krobo District also show that the perennial activity has resulted in the destruction of tree canopies and undergrowths that protect the river which has been ex posed to the river which has been exposed to siltation.
The district assembly also loses about ¢4 million weekly in revenue generated by the waterfall as a result of its cessation.
Presenting the findings of the report at a seminar on the environmental situation in the district in Accra, a member of the project team, Mr. Eric Okoree, called for the training of farmers in alternative livelihoods in order to save the situation.
He explained that such training would ensure a sustained income for the farmers and allow the banks of the river and its tributaries to reverberate.
He cited poor land management as another big problem in the area which has led to massive environmental degradation, noting that, “land in the area belongs to individuals who exercise control on its use.”
He said an awareness creation campaign was done in the Boti area on the dangers of degrading the environment, especially along river banks and its attendant destruction of biological resources of the area.
During the campaign, he said, the farmers complained that stopping them from farming close to the river banks would deprive them of their livelihoods.
Mr. Okoree underscored the need for further public education on biodiversity conservation along the river banks for the people to appreciate the problem better.
The District chief Executive, Mr. Joseph Adu Tawiah, said the revenue generated from the fall contributes immensely to the development of the district, stressing that the drying up of the fall is not favorable to the district and its people whose lives depend on the river.
He called on all the district’s development partners to join the assembly in evolving an alternative livelihood programme for the people to save the waterfall.
Mr. Adu Tawiah commended the NBC for its initiative and concern about the situation at hand.
The Ghanaian Times - Monday, May 14, 2007 Page: 7