Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to make a Statement on the devastating effects on the soil by erosion that is gradually but effectively taking a toll and hold on some communities in the Amenfi West constituency especially Asankrangwa, Asankran Breman, Asankran Oda, Asuohyiam, Samreboi, Kwabeng and
Mr. Speaker, erosion is one form of soil degradation along with soil compaction, low organic matter, loss of soil structures, poor internal drainage, salinisation and soil acidity problems.
These forms of soil degradation, serious in themselves usually contribute to accelerated soil erosion in the constituency.
Mr. Speaker, Amenfi West Consti- tuency falls within the wettest part of the country. The entire district has five forest reserves covering a total of 413.94 square kilometres.
Average annual rainfall tapers off from 173 mm at the South to 140 mm at the North.
Mr. Speaker, the main agent of soil erosion in the constituency is water and considering the ecological or climatic conditions of the area, one could deduce the gravity of the problem.
Soil erosion may be a slow process that continues relatively unnoticed but that of Amenfi West constituency is occurring at an alarming rate, causing serious destruction to buildings and also leading to the formation of deep trenches, gullies and deep gutters.
Mr. Speaker, communities that have been affected by the unfortunate occurrence are on a slope and might have accounted greatly for part of the erosion. Naturally, the steeper the slope of the community, the greater the amount of soil loss from erosion by water.
Soil erosion by water also increases as the slope length increases due to the greater accumulation and speed of run-off.
Mr. Speaker, consolidation of small fields into larger ones often results in longer slope lengths with increased erosion potential, due to increased velocity
of water which permits a greater degree of scouring.
Soil erodibility is an ability of soils to resist erosion, based on the physical characteristics of each soil. Generally, soils with faster infiltration rates, higher levels of organic matter and improved soil structure have a greater resistance to erosion.
Indeed, Mr. Speaker, the soil texture in the constituency is susceptible to soil erosion coupled, with the incessant rains which are prevalent.
Mr. Speaker, soil erosion has assumed alarming proportions at Asankran Breman, Asankrangwa, Asankran Oda and Samreboi and need immediate attention to ameliorate the current situation.
The foundation of buildings in the affected communities have been washed away thus leaving them hanging as death traps.
Mr. Speaker, the situation is so dangerous that certain places are cut off from vehicular movement and pedestrians.
Looking at the extent of damage soil erosion has caused and is still causing, one could imagine what will precisely happen if any inertia like fire outbreak sets in in any of the affected areas.
Mr. Speaker, lack of concrete drains to control the run-off is the major problem facing the communities. Asankrangwa, even though is the district capital of Wassa Amenfi West, lacks concrete drains as the town roads are not paved or surfaced.
Mr. Speaker, I am aware that the development of every area largely depends upon the particular District Assembly. The current situation in Amenfi West constituency is beyond the capacity and
capability of the district in terms of its capital intensive and requisite expertise to handle the situation.
Mr. Speaker, although I have submitted an official letter to the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing reporting of the situation, nothing fruitful has emerged.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a strong appeal to the Ministries of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Rural Development, Science and Environment, non-governmental organisations and philanthropists to come to the aid of communities in the Amenfi West constituency that are affected by soil erosion to salvage the current situation.