LIBERIA: DANGER FOR TOURISM AS Illicit Mining causes Flooding At Kpatawee

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A preliminary investigation conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia suggests that last weekend’s flooding at Kpatawee Waterfall in Bong County was caused by ‘illicit mining’ activities around the waterfall.
Kpatawee Waterfall, one of Liberia’s natural beauties and tourist destinations partly submerged under floodwater over the weekend posting severe public health and environmental threats to visitors and residents of surrounding communities in central Liberia.
The devastating flood washed away accommodations and crops.
The incident is being attributed to climate change, however, environmental inspectors who visited the area in a preliminary report said the flooding was human-induced.
Although some residents disclosed that a similar incident occurred in the area in the 1990s, environmental inspectors gathered that illicit mining activities taking place upstream caused the waterfall to overflow.
Illicit miners are noted for damming and diverting waterbodies.
The EPA Inspectors also observed that channels around a rice field near the waterfall are blocked making it difficult for the water to flow freely when it rains.
However, EPA Executive Director, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh has mandated a multi – intra agency team headed by the Department of Compliance and Enforcement to further probe the cause of last weekend’s flooding at the resort.

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