The convener for The Green Republic project, Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, has been adjudged ‘Climate Activist of the Year’ in the just-ended maiden edition of the Northern Excellence Awards in Tamale.
The award, the organisers say, is to recognise and encourage the group’s effort in tackling one of the biggest problems in the world—climate change.
Commenting on the award, Mr. Osei-Darkwa thanked the organisers for patting the group on the back and pledged never to relent in their efforts to combat climate change in Ghana.
He used the opportunity to call on all citizens to join the fight by avoiding practices which harm the environment and eventually exacerbate climate change.
“We have to take personal responsibility first, as citizens, to complement efforts of government in this very important project of helping reverse climate change and its devastating effects. We cannot always sit back and fold our arms as things go terribly wrong, thinking government must do it all.
“When we cut down the trees, government cannot mitigate the effect of extreme weather conditions; when we decide to burn car-tyres, government does not have the power to stop the carbon from going into the atmosphere; when we decide to tile the entirety of our compounds and it rains, government cannot stop the rain water from taking its own course and thereby lead to flooding,” he said.
Mr. Osei-Darkwa further called on government to show leadership by coming up with policies that restrain citizens from acts which contribute to the climate crisis – adding that cutting down trees outside of the mainstream forests, and the burning of car-tyres must all be outlawed with accompanying punishments.
“I think that we need to start from somewhere. We need to make a deliberate effort to ward-off climate change. Nothing happens by not doing anything. If we believe that renewable energy is the way to go, there must be a deliberate policy – for instance to make all government agencies and schools solar compliant and set reasonable targets to achieve same,” he said.
The Northern Excellence Awards is an initiative of Celebrities Charity Development Foundation.