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: Average temperature in Finland has risen by more than two degrees

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

Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

Dec 21, 2014

As a conscripted soldier during the Contra War of the 1980s, Esteban Ruiz used to flee from battles because he didn't want to have to kill anyone. But now, as the 47-year-old farmer prepares to fight for ...

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

Dec 20, 2014

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.