Climate change experts have called on the government to take the necessary steps to ensure that proper investments are made towards the implementation of policies aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change.
Deputy Director, Climate Change Department, Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) Dr. Antwi-Boasiako Amoah, indicated that although the country has rectified and domesticated climate change policies, like the National Water Policy, the National Climate Change Policy, the National Adaptation Strategy, and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), implementation has been a challenge.
“There was a shortfall. The shortfall was the fact that implementation on the ground was lacking and therefore it gives us a message as a country that once we churn out some of these documents we need to make a conscious effort to get them implemented,” he said.
He was speaking with the media on the sidelines of a two-day stakeholder engagement organized by WaterAid, Ghana to share new knowledge on water, sanitation, and hygiene issues (WASH).
It was also aimed at exposing the media to a key public health issue and how it could be tackled by the government, institutions, and individuals amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Research fellow at the Center for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies, University of Ghana, Dr. Bob Manteaw touching on communicating climate change bemoaned the inadequate linguistic translation of climate change and its associated terms.
“I think a lot of progress has been made. If we go past the issue of cognitive dissonance which is predominant in a lot of places, we go past that and then we get people to understand that something is happening [Climate change] and it is urgent, it is dear to our lives, it is dear to our livelihoods, I think we should be able to make the needed progress to bring about either the requisite attitudinal changes or the actions that would facilitate adaptation and to build resilience in local communities,” he noted.
The climate expert thus urged the media to always adopt simple terms known to their audience when communicating issues relating to climate change.
“We need to be prepared to communicate well, especially on issues of climate change. Covid-19 has taught us a lot. There’s no need to wait till something happens before we tackle issues of climate change,” he said.
Acting Country Manager, WaterAid Ghana, Jesse Coffie Danku stressed the importance of the media in achieving the country’s climate change adaptation targets.
“WaterAid is trying to make systemic changes and that is why we are strengthening the sector.
We see the media as our allies so we need to help them understand the climate issues,” he said.
According to Mr. Danku, if the media can report on climate change as well as Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, it will go a long way to demand needed action from the government.