July 28, 2020
By Jeneba A Conteh
Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has on the 27th of July signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sierra Leone police at George Street in Freetown.
Executive Chairman, EPA, Dr.Bondi Gevao, speaking during the ceremony, said they were pleased that they were signing an MOU with the Sierra Leone Police to promote compliance with, and enforcement of, environmental laws in Sierra Leone.
He said the signing of the MOU constitutes a milestone in promoting environmental governance and enhancing environmental sustainability, which is a pathway to achieving sustainable development in Sierra Leone.
“Our survival on planet earth, and in particular as a nation, depends on the safety, security and preservation of our environment. The current status of our national environment from Western Area Urban to Western Area Rural district, and to all district in the provinces, requires all of us to take concrete and collaborative steps for its effective protection and management. Our forests are seriously being depleted as a result of illegal and unregulated logging, bush pole production to support the construction industry, housing construction and development schemes. This is already having a telling effect on climate change and affecting the capacity of our forests, to provide their numerous services for human survival and development, and accelerating the levels of flooding and erosion in all parts of the country,” he said.
He said the country’s sea is being filled with ocean debris, including plastic wastes and their products as a result of negative land use activities, which he said has a hung negative impact on lives below water.
“Our rivers are being polluted by illegal, and sometimes legal but irresponsible mining activities. The nature and quality of our soil is being altered as a result of quarrying activities, chemical use in agriculture and industrial activities,” he stated.
He added that the Government of Sierra Leone and the global community have put in place the policy and legislative framework to assist in taking the required steps to reverse the trends and make the environment safe, secure and sound to promote growth and economic development in the country.
He encouraged all stakeholders, more particular law enforcement agencies, to come together and take practical and drastic steps to reverse those negative environmental trends in the country.
Inspector General of Police, Ambrose M Sovula said they were grateful and that the purpose of police existence is to enforce all laws and support all Ministries, Departments and Agencies in enforcing their laws, so that peace and harmony will reign in the ’ country.
“Even though the laws are there but EPA taught it fit to partner with us so that people can understand the cause that if they don’t do A, B, and C about our environment it will be in danger,” he said.
He made mention of the Mortomeh at Regent and some other disaster prone areas, but yet people continue to flout and challenge the environment laws, stating that the environment should be safeguarded by each and every one.