The Bon Naba, Baba Salifu Aleemyarum, Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, has appealed to traditional authorities in the Upper East Region to guard against the destruction of natural resources.
He said not only the people but chiefs were entrusted with the responsibility to protect the environment against degradation.
Bon Naba, also an environmentalist, made the appeal in Bolgatanga at a seminar organized by the National Disaster Manamegemt Organization(NADMO) to mark World Disaster Risks Reduction (DRR) Day where stakeholders met to dialogue on ways to reduce disasters.
He indicated that traditional rulers had no powers to cause the arrest of people, and urged collaborators in that regard to be up and doing, to bring sanity and help reduce people’s vulnerability to disasters.
He expressed dissatisfaction with how communities were destroying their environments with such activities as bush burning and tree felling among others, and stressed that the destruction of vegetative cover contributed to floods, droughts and affected the health of the people.
He said vigilant measures put in place in his traditional area was paying off, and urged chiefs and stakeholders to help operationalise bye laws on the environment to reduce disaster risks.
He was grateful to the government for proposing to establish environmental courts, and emphasized that such courts should be expedited, and must include punitive measures for perpetrators of bush burning in communities.
Mr Alfred Sawuug , Regional NADMO Coordinator, said the annual celebration sought to raise awareness on how communities were protecting themselves from disasters and to create awareness on the importance of DRR.
He noted that the theme for this year’s celebration: “Knowledge For Life, ” focused on the use of indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge in addressing disaster risks.
Mr James Zuugah Tiigah, Upper East Regional Minister, noted that the situation of the regions required the collective efforts of all, and stressed that traditional knowledge, backed by scientific research, would be the best way to control disasters.
He noted that the need to work together as stakeholders to stop disasters was to improve the livelihood of the people, as disaster resulted in food insecurity.
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