Professor Samuel Sefa-Dedeh of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at the University of Ghana, has called for a sustainable programme to ensure food and water security in the West African sub-region.
He said the continuous population growth in the sub-region had the tendency to worsen the poverty situation of the masses.
Prof Sefa-Dedeh was speaking at a workshop on the relationship between people, the environment and population in sustainable development in Accra on Wednesday.
The two-day seminar orgainsed by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) in collaboration with the Royal Society of the United Kingdom and the University of Ghana was to undertake a major policy study on the role of global population in sustainable development.
The workshop also formed part of the evidence-gathering activities of the study, which sought to use the latest scientific evidence on the interactions between human populations, the environment, consumption and their implications for sustainable development in West Africa.
Prof Sefah-Dedeh cautioned against blatant disregard by citizens for the protection of water resources, which he said was at the centre of human existence.
He called for increase food availability and food access through improved farming systems, invigorated entrepreneurship and strengthened market systems.
He called for improve food utilization through food distribution and better care practices such as improved food processing, preservation and storage.
Dr George Owusu, Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, who spoke on the topic: “Poverty alleviation, human health and prosperity,” said population growth in the West Africa was among the fastest in the world.
He said even though population growth had its own problems it could be used to stimulate growth in the country.
He called for a sustainable initiative to address the increasing urban poverty, which he said, was more difficult to deal with than rural poverty.