The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revealed that shortfall in staff strength is hampering effective delivery of its functions.
The EPA, which currently has about 200 staff, needs an additional 1,800 nationwide to effectively do its work.
Public Relations Manager of EPA, Mrs Angelina Ama Tutuah Mensah, who announced this, disclosed that regional offices of EPA have only a manager, a driver and a secretary.
Currently, she said the EPA is overwhelmed by the workload, most especially the technical staff.
According to her, in some departments, workload that requires about 12 staff is carried out by four persons.
For example, she said the environmental impact assessment department has very few staff who go for field monitoring.
She described the situation as very worrying considering the devastation being caused to the environment by citizens.
"The mining department is different from the department responsible for water, public affairs and chemicals," she said.
She said environmental protection was a shared responsibility, and the public needed to support the agency by volunteering information to the appropriate officers.
She noted that even though it was EPA’s statutory function to co-ordinate the activities of bodies concerned with the technical aspect of the environment, the public had a role to play in making this a success.
Mrs Mensah said the agency would continue to initiate and pursue formal and non-formal education programmes for the creation of awareness on the environment and its importance to the economic and social life of the citizenry.
The acting Executive Director of EPA, Mr John Pwamang, said "it is about time journalists specialise in environmental reporting to be able to appreciate and bring clarity to issues of the environment to make the agency’s efforts materialise".
Mr Kingsley Ekow Guray-Sey, the EPA Chief Programme Officer, signalled the readiness of EPA to sanction individuals and firms that flout environmental laws, as well as those operating without permits.
The agency has, therefore, put in place proactive, effective and efficient systems, including the training of senior officers on prosecution to deal with offenders.
Source: The Finder
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