April 28, 2016 By Jariatu S. Bangura
Members of the parliamentary Committee on Lands, Country Planning and the Environment Tuesday expressed disappointmentover the way and manner in which the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has been handling the issue of climate change in the country.
The MPs were speaking during a one day workshop on the Paris Agreement on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Committee Room No.1 at Parliament building.
Chairperson of the committee, Hon. Rosaline J.K. Smith, said in her welcome address that the issue of climate change should be treated with seriousness as the country faces lots of vulnerability, especially when it rains.
She expressed disapproval that the EPA signs agreement without involving the committee members, only to later rely on them to serve as champions of ratification.
Giving an overview of the Paris Agreement, Director of EPA, Momodu Bah said there were lots of concerns on climate change in the country, adding that there was an urgent need to address climate change issues in the country.
The country, he said, had been ranked the third most vulnerable country to natural disaster, behind Bangladesh and Giunea- Bissau.
“Taking climate actions will be good for our country and will make a better change. If we want clean energy sector, we must claim the preventive procedures,” he said.
Mr. Bah maintained that the EPA does not have responsibility to managing waste across the country, although it plays a complementary role in that regard.
Hon. Francis Kowa, representing constituency 107 in the Western Area Urban, said a lot had done in a bid to address climate issues in the country, especially for residents in the Western Area.
He urged the need to recycle plastic bags, which litter streets in the city and other major towns in the country, adding that EPA should scale up public education on addressing climate change.
Hon. Moiwai Momoh, representing constituency 06 in Kailahun district, said the EPA already has powers to handle issues of the environment, hence they should not ask for political will.
Other speakers also urged the EPA to do more in regulating activities aimed at mitigating the impact of climate change in the country.