The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has cautioned that many coastal communities in the Central Region risked being washed away by sea waves due to increasing sand winning activities usually carried out at night with impunity.
It indicated that although the menace had persisted for many years, the trend in recent times was scary and posed a threat to coastal inhabitants and monumental structures.
“The beautiful beachfront with undulating sandbars and sandy beaches on which many communities sit are fast vanishing as a result of sand winning among others,” Mr. Shine Fiagome, the Central Regional Director of the Agency, said in an interview with the GNA.
Researchers have warned that coastal communities risk tidal invasions as the global coastline loses an average of 1.5 metres annually, he told the Ghana News Agency.
This was on the sidelines of a clean-up exercises held in Elmina in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Municipality to mark the World Environment Day celebration.
The Day, celebrated annually, was observed on the theme: “Solution to plastic solution”, with the campaign slogan: #BeatPlasticPollution, ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.
Supported by the Municipal Assembly, Hotels Association and Zoomlion Ghana, the team cleared the beaches and roadsides of weeds and desilted choked gutters, among others.
The celebration served as a reminder that people’s action on plastic matters, as the material was slowly seeping into the oceans, soil, and forest and causing irreparable damage.
Mr. Fiagome said despite the importance of the sea to tourism development, fishing and marine resources were being desecrated with open defecation, sand winning and plastic waste.
According to him, more than 400 million tons of plastics were produced every year for use in a wide variety of applications, with at least 14 million tons of plastic ending up in the ocean.
He also decried the practice where people took things for granted and treated water bodies anyhow as marine species ingested or were entangled by plastic debris, which caused severe injuries and death.
Therefore, he rallied the unalloyed support of coastal communities to rid the beaches of all environmental breaches to serve their meaningful purposes.
The protection of the ocean, he said, must be seen as a collective responsibility by all but not limited to institutions as it remained an important resource for nation building.
Mr. Alvin Mensah Robertson, the Municipal Environmental Officer, called on Ghanaians to observe environmental cleanliness to enable them to stay healthy.
He noted that the attitude of some people throwing garbage into gutters and defecating in open places did not augur well for the environment and must be stopped.
Nana Kwamina Eku IV, the Chief of Mbofra Nkyinim, a suburb of Elmina, who participated in the exercise, pledged to collaborate with stakeholders to ride the coastal stretch of insanitary conditions.
He, however, appealed for refuse containers to be placed at vantage locations to stop people from indiscriminate waste disposable.