EPA demolish illegal structures on Catchment Areas in Hamilton

By Mohamed Konneh

The Environment Protection Agency in collaboration with the National Protected Area Authority last week conducted a successful joint operation to demolish makeshift structures and fences along the Catchment and Mangrove Areas at the Hamilton Community.

The Laws of Sierra Leone are against building houses in catchment areas, whether designated as a Ramsar site or not. The place in question is a protected area with some squatters or encroachers destroying the Mangroves to erect makeshift structures in this swampy or wetland areas.

Four makeshift structures were destroyed and a concrete fence partially destroyed to send warning message to those who are in the habit of destroying the mangroves to construct their dwelling houses or sell the reclaimed land to would be buyers.

Since 2016, the Agency and the National Protected Area Authority (NPAA) have been issuing series of notices and warnings to defaulters to desist from erecting structures in the mangrove area but all these warnings had been ignored and buildings being erected.

Section 12 (1) of the National  Protected Area Authority and Conservation Trust Fund  Act of  2012 mandates the NPAA to ensure the protection of natural ecosystems and threatened biodiversity in Sierra Leone whilst section 12 of the Environment  Protection  Agency  Act of 2008 as amended in 2010 mandates the Agency to protect the Sierra Leonean environment.

This action will continue on encroachment and environmental protected areas.

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