Stakeholders call for resuscitation of Butuah wetlands

Adiembra (W/R) Professor Denis W. Aheto, Director of Centre for Coastal Management (CCM), University of Cape Coast, has kicked against the development of portions of the “Butuah wetlands” located in the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis into an industrial oil tank farm.

He said the Butuah wetlands served as a basin that collected rains from Kansarowdo, New Takoradi and New site areas all suburbs of Takoradi, and that any built activity on such natural habitat could lead to flooding and pollution of the lagoons around.

Prof Aheto indicated that Butuah wetlands, like all other wetlands in the coastal areas were not properly managed adding, “it is crucial for authorities to develop coastal zone management policies to foster economic growth, these wetlands can be developed into tourist sites rather”.

The Professor was speaking at a sensitisation programme for the media and other stakeholders, organised by the Friends of the Nation (FoN) to advocate the revitalisation of the Butuah Wetlands at Adiembra a suburb in Sekondi.

He therefore called on the Sekondi -Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Civil Society Organizations, Non-Governmental Organisations and the media to spearhead the revitalisation of the Butuah wetlands.

Mr Donkris Mevuta, the Executive Director of FoN, was unhappy with the current state of the Butuah wetlands, noting that the development of the industrial oil tank farms in the past affected the biological setting of the Butuah wetland environment.

He said pollution from the industrial oil tank farms and other waste into the wetland resulted in the death of about 40,000 fishes in 2012 and therefore called for an urgent action to save it from further Depletion.

Mr. Mevuta explained that there was currently an attempt to increase the development and installation of oil tank farms in the Butuah wetlands enclave, which he noted could potentially further aggravate and diminish the biological potential of the area with its cascading effect on the ecosystem and livelihood.

“An urgent action is Paramount to save the wetlands from further depletion and lose of biodiversity”.

He reiterated the importance of wetlands saying, ‘’wetlands contain mangroves, mashrooms, shrubs and animals which are all essential for a healthy ecosystem.

Mr Mevuta indicated that about 70 percent of fishes in Ghana used wetlands as their nursery grounds adding, ” We should not underestimate the importance of the wetlands in our coastal areas’’.

“A representative from the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) Engineer George Dawu, admitted that the Butuah wetlands needed to be salvaged from the eminent threat.

He pointed out that community members had a role to play in revitalizing the wetlands, explaining that the mangroves which separated organic waste were being harvested and used as firewood despite efforts to provide them with gas cylinders.

He said there was the need to consciously sensitize residents of New Takoradi to curb a further deterioration of the wetlands.

The Butuah wetlands located in the heart of the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolis is high in biodiversity with respect to its fisheries, shrubs and herb species, but due to heavy siltation over time ,its aquatic life has been affected with the “phytoplankton and zooplankton Communities” experiencing low levels relative to its biodiversity.

Source: Ghana News Agency