Scientists work to improve water quality in Ghana

Apr 25, 2007

Scientists at the University of Liverpool are working with Ghanaian villagers and scientists to improve water quality and wildlife stocks.

Ghana’s large and growing population relies on wetlands for food and water and so experts at the University’s Institute for Sustainable Water, Integrated Management and Ecosystem Research (SWIMMER) have launched a research and training project near Accra, in Southern Ghana, to prevent continued environmental decline through pollution and over-use of river based resources.

In recent years Ghana, a relatively poor area of Africa, has seen a decline in freshwater fish, insects and plants, as well as a decline in the quality and quantity of drinking water as a result of river pollution.

Researchers, in collaboration with the University of Ghana and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), conducted a survey amongst the elders of the Accra tribes to understand how they used the rivers and wildlife and how they would like the area to be improved. The team have also completed chemical and biological assessments of rivers in the area and will use this information to train water and wildlife experts in the ‘Ecosystem Approach’ – a methodology implemented as part of the UK’s Darwin Initiative to communicate key environmental issues to all agencies involved in the management of land.

Dr Rick Leah, project manager, said: "Ghanaian scientists who are trained in using the ‘Ecosystem Approach’ will in turn train scientists from Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Benin to help harmonise environmental efforts in the region. Training for local stakeholders will also help enhance public awareness of aquatic systems.

"The aim of the project is to make local authorities and local people aware of the resources they currently have and how they should protect them in future. We have set up an interactive website where collaborators in the project, such as the Centre for African Wetlands and Ghana Wildlife Society, can log on and discuss problems they have faced and download teaching tools for researchers and school children."

Source: University of Liverpool

Explore further: MEPs back plans to slash use of plastic shopping bags

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Farming and the fate of wild nature

Jul 19, 2011

Farming is the greatest extinction threat to birds, mammals, plants and insects, and widespread land clearing, irrigation and chemical treatments have profoundly affected wild species and habitats the world ...

Recommended for you

Researchers question emergency water treatment guidelines

10 hours ago

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) recommendations for treating water after a natural disaster or other emergencies call for more chlorine bleach than is necessary to kill disease-causing pathogens ...

European climate at the +2 C global warming threshold

12 hours ago

A global warming of 2 C relative to pre-industrial climate has been considered as a threshold which society should endeavor to remain below, in order to limit the dangerous effects of anthropogenic climate change.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Melting during cooling period

(Phys.org) —A University of Maine research team says stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling ...