The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has called on chiefs and other traditional authorities to complement government’s efforts to protect the environment and keep the surroundings, especially rivers and other water bodies clean, and useful to humanity.

Speaking at this year’s edition of the Ohum Festival of the Chiefs and people of Akyem Abuakwa at Kyebi in the Eastern Region Saturday, June 25, 2022, the Vice President said it is the duty of the present generation to uphold and defend the ancient tradition of keeping the environment clean and healthy for posterity and generations yet unborn.

Historically, the Akyems have used the Ohum festival 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 lands and the river as symbols to remember the ancestors who struggled and persevered in keeping the society intact and further give pledges to continue the tradition and to keep the kingdom strong and free with prosperity and peace during the festival.

However, the present state of the river, and many other water bodies in the country leaves much to be desired, Dr Bawumia bemoaned.

“Nananom, Ladies and Gentlemen, 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 an 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 for human settlement. 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 seems 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.

“Government”, the Vice President pledged, “will continue to pursue efforts such as Operation Vanguard to affirm our commitment to protect the environment and water bodies. We will continuously need the support of Nananom and the people of Ghana in this pursuit in order to rid our environments of filth.”

Source: Comm. Bureau of the Veep’s Office|Onuaonline.com|Ghana