The Shama District Assembly, home to numerous quarry sites and ceramics manufacturing companies, lacks an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officer responsible for effective monitoring and enforcement of environmental regulations.
The district, which recently faced issues related to clay mining, also hosts a thermal power generation facility within the Western Region.
This issue came to light during a visit by Dr. Emmanuel Marfo, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, along with some committee members, to the site of the Anto Aboso quarry explosion that occurred a week ago. The explosion resulted in the loss of five lives, with three individuals still missing and four hospitalized.
“It is surprising that such a district with all these industries lack an EPA officer, then who monitors to promote compliance?” Mr Marfo asked.
He expressed concern about the non-functioning of other regulatory bodies with similar mandates, such as the Environmental Health Department of the Assembly.
“One key deficiency in public sector management is the lack of coordination and collaborations between state agencies mandated to execute policies, programmes and laws for the welfare of society,” he said.
Since the incident, a team of 15 policemen has been assigned to oversee the site to prevent unauthorized access by community members and ensure security.
He pointed out that the non-compliance with environmental laws was leading to significant environmental damage, which in turn posed health and economic challenges to the nation and its citizens.
During their visit, the Committee members engaged in discussions with Mr. Erickson Abakah, the MP for Shama, Mr. Ebenezer Dadzie, the Shama District Chief Executive, and Mr. Owu-Ewie, the Assemblymember of the Anto Aboso Electoral Area.