Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Executive Director Nathaniel T. Blama says EPA’s limited input during the construction of the Buchanan Highway and other unauthorized construction of buildings in alleyways are responsible for the unabated flooding along the Roberts Field Highway.
Speaking on Capitol Hill Thursday, 23 August, Mr. Blama particularly cited the “Smell No Taste” Community where eight persons, mostly young footballers drowned recently in a river that borders that community and Dolo Town in Margibi County following heavy rain.
Mr. Blama notes that flooding in the area, in Montserrado and its environs has paralyzed revenue generations.
He was invited by the House of Representatives to provide technical reason and remedy to the constant floods across Montserrado and its environs.
According to Mr. Blama, the engineering team that reconstructed the Buchanan, Grand Bassa Road never considered what he calls “Environmental, Social Impact and Assessment (ESIA)” on the road.
“The way the road was constructed, the EPA has no input. But however, we have recognized that the culvert approaching Smell No Taste, there was a drop in between there. There is a need for the Ministry of Public Works, maybe during the upcoming dry season to elevate the culvert to a bigger one,” Mr. Blama says. He indicates that this will reduce the flooding.
The EPA boss also sees sand mining activities at the Smell No Taste community as one of the challenges that are contributing to the flooding.
According to Mr. Blama, sand mining undermines the bank of the river and has blocked the normal flow of water.
He notes that due to illegal activities, when there is a downpour, the water goes into the communities instead of pouring into the river.
He also says illegal constructions on alleyways and on wetland are some of the factors, indicating that wetland is not good for poor folks.
Following his presentation, Mr. Blama pleaded for more budgetary allotment to mitigate some of the pressing challenges affecting the country.
The EPA boss notes that his agency is losing more qualified employees to private sector as a result of low salaries.
He says despite prevailing circumstance confronting the agency, ranging from manpower to salary and logistics, the agency’s national fiscal budget was again reduced by 40%.
He complains that this puts the institution in a difficult situation to effectively tackle its challenges.–Press release