The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has called on chiefs and other traditional authorities to complement the government’s efforts to protect the environment.
Speaking at this year’s edition of the OhumFestival of the Chiefs and people of Akyem Abuakwa at Kyebi in the Eastern Region on Saturday Vice President Bawumia said it was the duty of the present generation to uphold and defend the ancient tradition of keeping the environment clean and healthy for generations yet unborn.
The Akyems celebrate the Ohumfestival to thank the almighty for blessing their land with the Birim River. During this period the sons and daughters of Okyeman use products from the land and the rivers to remember the ancestors who struggled to preserve the society. They also give pledges to continue the tradition and keep the kingdom strong and peaceful.
However, the present state of the river and many other water bodies in the country leaves much to be desired, Dr Bawumia bemoaned.
“…as we pledge this day to continue the tradition of our ancestors in keeping our environment safe and clean we should reflect on the current sorry state of the Birim River, the pride of Okyeman. Today in Ghana, our rivers are polluted with alarming carelessness. It is either we have farmed or built so close to the river banks, callously polluted the rivers with activities of galamsay, or encroached the river path… These activities expose the waters to all forms of pollution.
“To overcome this canker of environmental degradation and pollution requires the commitment of everyone, including the government. In times past communal labour and volunteerism were effective avenues used by Nananom and local authorities to deal with the issues of filth in our neighbourhoods. This noble initiative and activity however seem to be lost on us these days. I implore Nananom to work collaboratively with the local administrative authorities to rekindle that communal spirit to help deal with filth in our societies” he urged.
Underscoring the importance of a strong and efficient human resource base to the development of any nation, Dr Bawumia said the Akufo-Addo administration would continue to invest heavily not just in literacy and numeracy but in science and skills training.
“The government of President Akufo-Addo is convinced that the success of Ghana and, indeed any community depends largely on the quality of her human resources. It is for this reason that, in addition to free SHS and free TVET, the government has not relented in its effort to provide facilities at the basic, secondary and tertiary levels to ensure that every Ghanaian has access to quality and affordable education.
“I may not need to mention the recent inauguration of the University of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences occasioned by the vision of H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. It is a tribute to the commitment of this government to improve science education with the enlightened cooperation of all Nananom and Traditional Institutions.”
While urging the nation to abide by the Covid-19 safety protocols in light of the recent rise in cases, the Okyehene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, called on sons and daughters of Okyeman to remember their roots and give back to their communities, in whichever form they can.
“When you go out there and succeed, don’t make a difference just where you are; come back home and make a difference too. It should not be the sole duty of the Government to develop our nation. You can support your alma mater with infrastructure or equipment; you can support your church or village or town in diverse ways. In whatever you do, make a positive difference.”
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD