With the alarming rate at which forests and other high value ecosystems like wetlands are disappearing and with the increasing poor management of waste coupled with a sky rocketing growth of ‘I don’t care attitude”, our environment has been continuously abused. The water bodies are polluted, there is rampant burning of charcoal polluting the air we depend on, forests have been cleared for cultivation, wetlands encroached for brick laying, construction and settlement and poaching in game parks and game reserves is the order of the day.
Most people have nobody to blame other than the local people who reside in an around the forests and wetlands but in my opinion, our leaders should carry the biggest part of the blame. We have heard and or seen instances where politicians have given out forests and wetlands to industrialists and plantation farmers, leaders wanting to please voters by allowing them to encroach on high value ecosystems or even indiscriminately fish from water bodies.
Environmental awareness campaigns are not given utmost priority compared to other campaigns like public order and marriage and divorce. Some NAAD’s co-coordinators lack agricultural backgrounds and some environmental workers lack expatriate knowledge.
Church leaders on the other hand have not done much in preaching the gospel of environmental protection to their congregations. There is a loose connection between politicians and environmental workers.
Some leaders have adopted the tragedy of the commons which states that ‘if I don’t take it, somebody else will”. They are, therefore, willing to take bribes so as to give away forests, wetlands and green belts. They hardly welcome environmentally friendly programmes.
We cannot achieve Vision 2040 if we have a vulnerable environment.
Let us first respect and protect the environment and then other blessings will follow.
Banaki Yehoyada, email@example.com