The United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to deepen collaboration with its Ghanaian counterpart especially in capacity building for analysis of environmental data.
Ms Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the US EPA, speaking during a site visit of the Ghana’s EPA‘s air quality monitoring sites, the premises of Friends of the Earth Ghana, said there was the need for increased capacity building in the country to develop options for resolving environmental problems.
She noted that the challenge in air pollution was analysing the data and coming up with actionable items to mitigate the problem.
She pledged her office’s commitment to support Ghana by sharing its data analysis tools to enable the country to look at costs and benefits of different options and articulate them in an effective way to make the reductions in emissions that were necessary.
Ms McCarthy, who visited Ghana to explore deeper avenues for collaboration between the two countries stated: “We will continue to work together and expand our ability to share data, share best practices and look at our work together, because as the President Barack Obama has made clear; what happens in Africa is important to the world.”
She added that it was also important for the public to be actively engaged in decision making and addressing environmental issues.
The EPA and its US counterpart have been collaborating over the past years to address environmental issues.
The US EPA, in 2004, supported Ghana to revamp its air quality management role by selecting Accra as one of two cities in Africa to benefit from an air quality management programme.
Ms McCarthy described Ghana as a stable and wonderful partner of the US, adding that the US EPA was happy to expand its work with Ghana.
Mr John Alexis Pwamang, Executive Director of Ghana’s EPA said the country had been able to set up eight air quality management monitoring sites in Accra under the US sponsored programme.
“We owe a lot of our successes to the US EPA collaboration and we are so grateful for that,” he stated.
Mr Pwamang said Ghana had achieved some successes in the area of environmental protection including phasing out lead in gasoline under the World Bank’s clean air Initiative for sub-Saharan Africa.
He noted that US EPA support with capacity building to analyse the data collected from its monitoring activities would enable them to better interpret the data for the information of the public and policy makers.
He also asked the US EPA to assist its Ghanaian counterpart to acquire sustainable power source and equipment to ensure continuous monitoring and data collection.
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