The Nzema Advocacy for Peace and Development (NAPAD), an environmental advocacy group in the western region, sounded the alarm on Thursday regarding the invasion of “Sargassum” weed species that were spreading across the country. along the west coast of Ghana.
The group, together with concerned citizens of Nzema, including Nzema Koyele Eku, Nzema Advocacy for Peace and Development (NAPAD), petitioned the regional minister of the West, complaining of the devastation suffered by local communities as a result of from the invasion of brown algae along their coasts.
Signed by Elizabeth Alluah Vaah, member, the petition has been copied to the office of the President, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), National Disaster Organization (NADMO), Ghana Gas, Tullow Ghana, members of parliament and district assemblies in Jomoro, Ellembelle and Nzema Est.
âOver the past eight weeks, the weed, which accumulates along the coast and gives off a putrid odor as it rots, has since seen a gradual increase in size and area of ââcoverage. From the coast of New Town to Ghana’s border with Ivory Coast to Dixcove, all in the western region of Ghana, this brownish weed has carpeted the shoreline, making it unsafe for children and adults to have access to the sea, âthey lamented.
Apart from this danger, the brown algae, according to some, had stopped economic activity either directly (fishermen and fishmongers) on the sea, or indirectly (retailers, food sellers, who sell to fishermen.
In addition, the dire shortage of marine fish had deprived people of a very critical source of protein and food in general, adding that the same situation had also crippled tourist activities along the coast.
“Our inquiries indicate that even though some EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) staff came and took samples, there was no feedback on what they found.”
Meanwhile, the petition demanded that the Western Regional Minister take concrete and urgent action to get all the agencies and organizations mentioned to act to address the issue facing the communities.
Once again, the EPA should urgently share its findings on what this disturbing phenomenon is, and indicate what action it is proposing to address it both in the short term and on a permanent basis.
The advocacy group further called on the municipal assemblies of Ellembelle, Evaluate Ajomoro Gwira and Jomoro to engage the local population in explaining the steps to be taken to remove harmful algae from the riverbanks.
According to them, this would prevent the algae from returning to the sea and causing extreme destruction of fishing activities on and along the coast.