Unknown vessel pollutes Ankobrah beach

The Ankobrah Beach, stretching miles towards Ekwei in the Western Region, has experienced oil pollution suspected to have been spilled by an unknown vessel in the country’s territorial waters.

The heavy crude substance has settled on the shore of the twin districts of Axim and Ellembelle, seriously destroying the beauty of the beach.

But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the situation is under control, as it has already taken samples for analysis and will soon come out with its findings.

It described the substance as “star-ball”, which forms as a result of a discharge of heavy crude into the ocean by vessels.

The Western Regional Office of the EPA moved to the area to assess the situation and assured the public that there was no cause for panic and that other security agencies had been informed of the development in order to be on the look out for the perpetrators.

It said the EPA had also informed the communities along the coast to report any strange substance washed ashore to its regional or district offices for prompt and appropriate action.

Addressing the media in Sekondi after a tour of the affected area, the Deputy Minister of Science and Environment, Dr Omani Boamah, assured the public that the safety and preservation of the country’s ecology were very important to the government.

He said the country’s best bet was to have a formidable Navy to police its territorial waters and deter vessels from dumping waste materials into its territorial waters.

He said the government had purchased two German vessels for the Ghana Navy and also put in place a monitoring system to track the activities of all vessels that would enter the country’s territorial waters.

“The government will not compromise on safety and the protection of the country’s ecological system, since those issues are not negotiable. We will form a partnership with the communities to ensure that the right thing is done,” he said.

He assured the public that the EPA would do everything possible to ensure that the samples collected were analysed and appropriate action taken.

Source: Daily Graphic

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