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Environmental NewsGeneralLiberia news

EPA educates citizens about erosion, flood, and climate change

Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency takes awareness campaign to Bong County, Central region.

By Lincoln G. Peters 

Bong County, Liberia, June 12, 2024—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awakening Liberians to coastal erosion, floods, and other climate challenges, urging citizens to save the country. 

Addressing citizens in Bong County, the chief of staff in the office of the EPA Executive Director, Mr. Timothy Yoko, said it’s time for Liberians to take seriously issues such as pollution and its control measures, land degradation and reclamation, conservation of forests, access to clean water, and the use and control of chemicals, among others. 

Mr. Yoko warns that if the environment is not taken care of, it will take care of the country, but in a negative way that the current and future generations will not like. 

He underscores a need for community members and schools to take environmental issues into their own hands. 

He cautions against drying swamps or wetlands and building on them, as this will block waterways, especially during the rainy season, and lead to flooding. 

In an unsustainable way, Bong County could cause the river to overflow, leading to flood in neighborhoods. 

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“But even as we enforce the law, you, our citizens, have responsibilities. Remember, the simple Physics law that “to every action there is an equal but opposite reaction”.

“If you take trash from your home and dump it in the streets, the air will get polluted, mosquitoes will breed, and the same mosquitos will bite you or your children, and you or your children will get sick.” He further warns. 

Mr. Yoko congratulated the Bong County Environmental Club on its launch and added that the current EPA administration is encouraging these efforts.

He says one way to do this is through the formation and operation of community and school environmental clubs, assuring that they are prepared to work with these clubs to ensure a clean and healthy environment for all. 

“The number one environmental issue of the 21st Century that we face is climate change and global warming. As we produce harmful gases such as carbon dioxide and methane gas, called Green House Gases (GHG), we are gradually damaging the ozone layer layer that helps prevent the sun from striking the Earth too much and too hard”, he explains. 

He adds that because of this action, the sun’s rays are very hard on the Earth, causing too much heat that is melting blocks of ice at the North and South poles of the Earth. 

He discloses that as the ice is turning into water, the volumes of the world’s oceans are increasing, which is posing threats to coastal areas such as West Point in Monrovia, Buchanan in Grand Bassa, and other areas in Liberia.  

“This is causing Liberia millions of US dollars to construct coastal defense projects to prevent West Point from going underwater, money that could otherwise be used for other development initiatives. Part of the effects of global warming is unstable weather patterns. Farmers no longer know the time and duration of the rainy and dry seasons, as these seasons are not as clear as they used to be in the past.”  

Mr. Yoko laments that this is posing serious threats to agriculture, including rice farming, because some places in Africa are overly dried, and cattle are dying from heat and lack of water. 

“In addition to undermining farming, Liberia is facing many environmental challenges. Some people are building in the wet or swamp lands, throwing dirt in the streets, and constructing in alleyways. Some big and powerful companies are damaging our creeks and rivers with persistent chemicals that will go a long way in harming our waters and our environment”, he alerts. 

However, in an effort to address these problems, President Joseph Nuyma Boakai appointed Dr. Emmanuel Yarkpawolo executive director of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia. 

“We do appreciate our President for the confidence he has reposed in us, and we promise to live up to the mandates of his government and the Liberian people. You will recall that we fined several companies and closed down some during our first few weeks in office. We will continue to enforce the Environmental Laws of Liberia for the battlement of the Liberian people”, Yoko concludes. Editing by Jonathan Browne 

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