Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Executive Director Nathaniel Blama, says government has no immediate plan to evict people residing along river banks here.
He gave the assurance Monday, 18 March during a joint press conference at the Millennium Guest House in Oldest Congo Town to highlight events of a Blue Ocean Conference convening outside Monrovia.
Mr. Blama however emphasizes that the Government of Liberia (GOL) is fully aware of illegal construction of structures for dwelling purposes by residents violates environmental laws of the country, and may in the future take a decision on the situation.
According to him, evicting illegal occupants from river lines will require huge fund to resettle affected residents when in fact, the government has no investors or partners interested in developing those areas.
He calls on occupants to assist government in protecting the water by stop using it as dump sites, which poses grave danger to fish and other marine species.
He warns that fish that consumed plastic materials from river lines pose grave danger to human beings, who eat such fish, as they might develop medical complications after many years without knowing.
The EPA boss adds that besides fish deposit, rivers contain other very important species that human beings need, so dumping of waste there should stop to prevent people from getting sick after consuming those species.
On 18 March Director Blama along with other staff of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) participated in the Pre-Launch of “Kick The Plastic” Campaign Initiative of the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) at the ELWA Beach, attracting international partners, including the Country Director of Conservation International (CI) Jessica Donovan-Allen, the Acting Swedish Ambassador to Liberia Elisabeth Harleman, community residents and students, among others.
Following the exercise, the Manager of Trash Free Seas Program based in Washington, D.C., United States of America (USA) Mr. Erick R. DesRoberts announced to participants that in two hours a total of 2,228 pounds of garbage generated by beach users was collected from the beach.
The American environmentalist notes that Elkhom coral, which is neither a plant nor a rock, but has a colory of tiny animals called polyps, once among the most prevalent coral species in the Caribbean have been disappearing due to disease and pollution, and as a consequence of climate change.
Acting Swedish Ambassador to Liberia Elisabeth Harleman, observes that in Liberia and many countries today, the beautiful and blue oceans continue to be misused, adding that plastic materials, particularly, sachets and bottled water are fast taking over the environment because their production and use continue to increase on a regular basis.
EPA Executive Director Mr. Nathaniel Blama addresses a joint news conference with partners
By Emmanuel Mondaye –Editing by Jonathan Browne