A youth advocacy group has raised concern about the indiscriminate selling of fertile lands to estate developers by chiefs.
The Youth Volunteer for the Environment (YVE) in Ghana, a non-governmental organisation said the situation is retarding the progress of the youth in the agriculture business.
This sentiment was expressed in a communiqué read by the Executive Director of YVE, Ms Benedicta Samey, an Agricultural Scientist at a knowledge sharing and advocacy meeting to educate the youth on the impact of climate change and also the environmental challenges in Accra.
“It is regrettable that every available space of farmlands or recreational centres is being giving away to estate developers which are impeding the advancement of agriculture in the country,” she said.
Ms Samey said the indiscriminate sale of farmlands to estate developers is a dangerous practice which had diverted most of the youth into illegal activities such as galamsey (small scale mining), cyber fraud, land guards.
This, she said does not augur well for community development and the country as whole.
“The chiefs need to identify the talents and desires of the youth and work at harnessing them for the benefit of their respective communities and stop selling any available land space,” she said.
Ms Samey also expressed concern about environmental pollution by emissions from vehicles, destruction of water bodies and the ecosystem by galamsey operators and more seriously the indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drains and other unapproved areas and called for vigorous fight against them.
She said various legislations on maintaining of a clean, safe and pleasant physical environment in human settlements, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly needs to infuse new dimensions that would address the ever-increasing sanitation problems.
“Laws alone cannot achieve the desire of regulating human behaviour but it calls for vigorous education and above all, the orientation of those who would enforce them to be humane in character,” she said.
Mr Joseph Kwesi Dzitse, President of YVE in an interview with Ghana News Agency said the organisation had put in measures to influence national policy on the environment and would push for laws for the maximum protection of the youth.
“It is sad to observe that lack of commitment, apathy and sense of duty still lingers on among the people at this time and age whilst lives and properties are being lost through flooding,” he said.
Mr Dzitse urged the churches to step up their education among their members to create more awareness for them to refrain from indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drains to prevent the spread of diseases.
He announced that the YVE groups would be formed in churches and communities to help in the house-to-house education campaign for the people to maintain good environmental cleanliness.
Mr Lovans Owusu-Takyi, a Lecturer at the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture who is also a member of the YVE said building the capacity of the youth in environment was not an easy task and urged the chiefs to stop the random sale of farmlands.
“The chiefs must listen to the youth because they hold the key to food security of the country in the future,” he said. GNA