…At Police Academy junction along SKD Boulevard
The Government of Liberia through the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) has asked individuals, firms and residents currently undertaking projects within and along the wetland around the Police Academy to remove all existing structures within 30 days or face demolition by the government.
The EPA said it would also impose administrative and regulatory sanctions against individuals, firms and residents currently undertaking projects within and along the wetland around the Police Academy and SKD Boulevard intersection in Paynesville City.
The warning is contained in a ‘halt order and citation’ released February 25, 2021.
This area is a large mangrove swamp where streams are running side by side, and environmental experts say it is a habitat for different species of animal and fish.
“The mangrove plant consumes much of the carbon emission into the earth’s atmosphere, and the swamp itself is a habitat for varieties of animals including the sea turtle and fishes. They come to these areas were the water current is not high to lay their eggs for reproduction, but when their habitats are destroyed, we encounter climate change and at the same time lose those animals we use in our dishes,” said the expert.
EPA Executive Director, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh, said unsustainable and unauthorize backfilling of the wetland; blocking of waterways; discharge of wastewater and sewages into the wetland and watercourses around the Police Academy Junction along the SKD Boulevard are compromising the ecological integrity of the Montserrado Wetland.
The Montserrado Wetland around the Police Academy Junction along the SKD Boulevard is designated as a Ramsar site under the Ramsar Convention on wetlands of the international importance of which Liberia is a signatory.
On the main paved roads, vehicles also line up there every morning and afternoon and are washed, which leaves water set on the asphalt pavement. “When water is always set on the coal tar, remember that it helps to damage it and this is why you see most parts of the road damaged now,” an employee of the Ministry of Public Works said.
Prof. Tarpeh said the unapproved erection of structures contrary to the zoning regulation and environmental law of Liberia on the wetland, the continuous degradation of the mangrove ecosystem and the illegal dumping of garbage into the wetland are also compromising the integrity of the Montserrado Wetland.
According to him, there is a prohibition under both international and national laws of Liberia to encroach upon wetlands and destruction of mangroves and other protected species necessary for the conservation of biological diversity.
He warned individuals, firms and residents to with immediate effect desist from further development or construction on the Montserrado Wetland.
“As a principal authority in Liberia for the management of the environment and the sustainable use of the natural resources thereof, the EPA is empowered under section 75 of the Environment Protection and Management Law of Liberia (EPML) to prescribe measures for the protection of wetlands,” the EPA Director said.
Section 75 of the Environment Protection and Management Law of Liberia (EPML) prescribes measures for the protection of wetlands.
Section 75 (2) of the EPML also provides that no person shall in relation to wetland, use, erect, construct, place, alter, extend, remove or demolish course in, on, under or over the bed” or to direct or block a wetland from its natural and normal course.
Section 75 (3) also empowers the EPA to, by notice, impose any restrictions, as it considers necessary for the protection of the wetland from environmental degradation.