The Northern Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Abu Iddrisu has warned that the region could soon be hit with severe water crisis if urgent measures are not taken to protect the environment from further degradation.
According to him, a research conducted in 1947 revealed that the region was resourced with 6050 dams and streams, but cross-checking research conducted in 2017 indicates these water bodies have reduced significantly to 2011 due to bad environmental practices.
“Some research was done on water bodies such as streams and dams and it was realized that we have 6050 total dams and rivers so that means there was no water challenge in Northern Region, but in 2017 a cross-checking research was done and it was found that we now have 2011 dams and streams” he stated
He indicated that the huge loss of water bodies in the region was due to the rampant destruction of the environment through acts such as bush burning, deforestation, siltation among others, stating that “because of the huge gaps in the region that is why we are struggling with water shortage, most of our water bodies are either killed through siltation or deliberately through farming practices such people farming close to water bodies or blocking such water bodies to make sure they die naturally”.
Protecting the environment
Mr Iddrisu stressed that “this is a very serious thing and we need to be very careful and if we do not take the responsibility of ensuring that our community leaders play a key role in environmental management we would have ourselves to be blamed”.
“The environment belongs to the people, those who are dead use some part of the benefits and have bequeathed some value to us who are living, so we must make some effort in investing in the environment,“ he added.
He indicated that bush burning, illegal hunting and sand wining were the major activities hurting the environment and therefore admonished all the district assemblies to prioritise tree planting to help safeguard the environment.
Mr Iddrisu observed that soil fertility was declining in the region and attributed the trend to the abuse of the environment through bad farming practices including bush burning and the use of weedicides.
While stressing on the need for traditional authorities to show keen interest in the protection of the environment, he advised farmers and hunters to desist from those practices.