EPA Celebrates World Wetlands Day

As Deputy Director Cautions Against Burying Dead People On Wetlands
The Deputy Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia, Randal M. Dobayou has cautioned residents against burying dead people on wetlands across Montserrado in apparent response to claims that people were burying on Bali Island and other wetlands in Monrovia under the cover of darkness.
Hon. Dobayou said wetlands are not dumpsites and wasteful lands and as such back falling wetlands for the purpose of constructing houses is illegal.
Speaking at program marking the official celebration of the 2019 ‘World Wetlands Day’ on Saturday, February 2, 2019 in Chocolate City, Gardnerville outside Monrovia, Hon. Dobayou noted that filling wetlands is terribly not stainable for the environment.
The 2nd day of February every year is celebrated as World Wetlands Day and has been celebrated by all UN member countries worldwide since 1997. The celebration is intended to focus worldwide attention on the importance of wetlands, their values and benefits.The Global theme for the 2019 World Wetlands Day celebration was ‘Wetlands and Climate Change’ and the local Liberian theme was ‘Protect the Wetlands; Prevent flooding’.
Speaking further, the EPA Deputy Executive Director asked residents who think to have legitimate ownerships to wetlands and wish to develop it should come to the EPA, which has the mandate and the scientific infrastructure to guard them sustainably development of wetlands. He warned against the constant cutting of mangroves in the wetlands, because according to him mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storm and wide winds, waves and floods.
“Cutting of mangrove means you are cutting the lifespan of our environment because mangrove prevents erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled roots system,” Hon. Dobayou cautioned. According to Hon. Dobayou mangroves are naturally created by God to maintain water quality and clarity. He explained that mangroves are meant to filter pollutants and trapping sediments originating from the land and said “our mangroves are not wood, stop cutting them for the purpose of drying fish.
Hon. Dobayou also indicated that wetlands play an important role in the processes that keep landscapes healthy and productive. “They support industries such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism by supplying water for crops stock and people, maintaining water quality, providing habitat for commercial species and having cultural and recreational value,” he observed.The EPA Deputy Executive Director also disclosed that wetland host a huge variety of lives, protect coastlines, and provide natural defense against river flooding or storm surges as well as store carbon dioxide to regulate climate change.
for his part, Deputy Agriculture Minister Robert G. Fangan, who served as keynote speaker acknowledge that wetlands are being abuse across the country and asked the EPA to also focus on wetlands in other parts of Liberia.Deputy Minister Fangan disclosed that miners are destroying wetlands in rural areas and said they are killing several species by the massive mining of gold and diamonds in wetlands.He indicated that population growth is a serious threat to wetlands, because many people in search for land to dwell have illegally constructed on wetlands.
Prior to the indoor program held at K. T. Woiwor Memorial Institute, residents of Chocolate City joined some staff of the EPA to carried-out a cleaning up exercise near wetlands in the area. During the cleaning up exercise, the Focal Person on Ramsar Convention, Mr. Levi Z. Piah admonished residents against building on wetlands and cutting down of the mangroves.
Mr. Piah said Chocolate City was elected by partners to celebrate the 2019 World Wetlands in there to educate community members and individuals encroaching on wetlands in the areas about the danger involves in building and cutting down of the mangroves.He said the area is part of the Mesurado Wetlands, which the EPA is under obligation to protect as a signatory of the Ramsar Convention, which it became a part of in 2003.
Saturday’s celebration attracted community members, representatives of several environmental NGOs and partners of the EPA.
 At the ceremony, students of Al-Ansari English & Arabic Elementary & Junior High School were awarded a giant size trophy for emerging as winner of a quizzing competition held on Friday, February 1, 2019 among three schools including K. T. Woiwor Memorial Institute and Salvation Army Bill Norris Elementary and Junior High School.