THE Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture Alex Asum-Ahensah, has called for the sustenance of Ghana’s cultural practices that protect water resources and the environment.
There are countless traditional methods of environmental preservation and conservation based on indigenous knowledge that continued to protect both fauna and flora., he said here on Thursday in a speech read on his behalf at a conference on water and culture.
The conference had the theme: “Culture as a vehicle for water and environmental preservation for wealth creation and socio-economic development.”
Mr Asum-Ahensa observed that, rapid urbanisation and modernisation, to some extent, tend to erase traditional methods of environmental conservation and preservation.
He identified some of the traditional methods of conservation as the celebration of the Homowo festival when a month’s ban on drumming and fishing enabled marine life to have peace to reprocreate.
Others the minister said were the Tano sacred fishes, near Techiman and the Koraa river fishes, where access to the fishes were not permitted unless authorised by the chief and contended such practices preserved the fresh water life of the fishes.
“Culture may have a panacea for environmental preservation so that there could be ample flow of water for humans, livestock, and other agricultural practices,” he stressed.
Prof. George P. Hagan, a former chairman of the National Commission on Culture and currently a consultant on culture and development, who delivered a paper on “Traditional methods of water and environmental conservation and preservation: Challenges of the modern time”, said : “we cannot discard the traditional system of environmental protection which has served African communities, when we do not even know what new system can effectively replace it”.
Mr Francis Amevenku, a research scientist from the Water Research Institute, who presented a paper on “Research findings in water bodies, the human and cultural factor and their impact on the environment,” said by 2015, Ghana could face severe water crisis if urgent steps were not taken to preserve and conserve her water resources.
Nii Tetteh Otu II, Kpone Mantse and a member of the National House of Chiefs who chaired the function if chiefs were adequately resourced and involved, they could play a pivotal role by mobilising their subjects.