Liberia: EPA Demolishes Structures in Waterway in Sinkor and Paynesville
Monrovia — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun demolishing structures built in areas earmarked as “unsafe for human habitat.”
Report by Alline Dunbar, [email protected]
At least two structures – one in ELWA in Paynesville, the other in Matadi, Sinkor were broken by the EPA.
According to the Inspector General of the EPA, R. Baiyeezenah Brown, the structure in the ELWA area was demolished because the owner of the structure violated Part 3 Section 6 Annex 13 of the Environmental Protection and Management Laws of Liberia.
“That law tells you that if you are to carry out a project of such it requires an environmental and social assessment, which will enable the EPA to issue you license,” he stated.
However, Brown said that the septic tank in Matadi was demolished because it is situated between two water sources which are not even 50ft away from it. “By standard the septic tank is supposed to be at least 98 to 100 feet away from the water source so as the institution responsible to protect the environment, we will not sit down this time around to be silent about these issues.”
The owners of both structures didn’t show up during the demolition exercises. However, they had been forewarned by the EPA.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency is cautioning citizens of cutting mangroves from the swamps as they are very important for the environment.
Inspector Brown warned that anyone caught in the act will be held liable.
“People, who are cutting down the mangroves in the swamps and building in the swamps, should get ready for the EPA; we are coming.”
According to him, continuous awareness is being done by the EPA in swamp communities to preserve the mangroves and to also save the swampland. “People don’t know the importance of the mangroves, if they knew the importance of the mangroves, they will never dare cut one,” he stressed.
Inspector Brown added the more the mangroves are being removed, the more access the water has to the land. He further stated that most importantly, the mangroves serve as the habitat for different species at the same time providing oxygen for humans.
“It cleans the air five times more than the plants that are on the ground. So, if you cut down mangroves, it’s like you are holding your nose and don’t want to breath.”