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Policy Makers Tasked To Protect Country’s Waterbodies   
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The Deputy Director of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Rose Mamaa Enstua-Mensah, has urged the School of Biological Sciences of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to adopt the Pra Basin and research about its state and how its contamination with harmful substances can be reduced.

She noted that the accumulation of mercury in water bodies was increasing, putting the lives of people in many communities in danger.

She said the situation could lead to serious health implications, including breakdown of the nervous system, for people who used water from rivers that were polluted.

She said illegal mining in particular significantly increased the concentration level of mercury in the affected water bodies, some of which passed through a number of regions.

Dr Enstua-Mensah said other negative environmental practices affecting rivers and other water bodies in the country were forcing the water bodies into extinction.

She made the observations at the maiden K.N. Eyeson lecture which took place at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) last Wednesday.

Dr Entsua-Mensah said the energy problems that the country was facing today was as a result of complacency in the fight against environmental degradation.

“Policy makers have been aware of these problems for well over 20 years but have done little to reverse the situation. We have failed to plan for it because we slept on the job,” she said.

She said Ghanaians must hold governments and policy makers accountable for the shortfall in our  natural resources and from now ensure that they were managed sustainably for posterity.

The Pra Basin
She noted for instance that the Pra Basin which served many communities was in a very critical state now with very little aquatic life just like many other river basins in the country.  

She said following heightened illegal mining activities, the basin had become highly polluted, leading to degradation of water bodies and destruction of aquatic life and other species of animals and insects. 

As it were, she urged the School of Biological Sciences to set up a museum as a means of getting young people interested in marine life. 

Prof. Eyeson 
Professor Kodwo Ndzeba Eyeson, a retiree in whose honour the lecture was instituted, was the first Ghanaian biologist to be appointed to teach at the UCC in 1963. He retired in 2007 after 36 years in  service.

He said he was very appreciative of the school for the honour done him and was optimistic that the lecture would grow onto a higher pedestal where ideas would be shared among researchers and policy makers for the country’s development. 
Source: Daily Graphic

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