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General News of Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Aburi rockslide: Act now or risk serious disaster – Geologist warns government


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A geologist at the University of Ghana, Dr. John Kusimi has called on the government to act with urgency to avoid what he describes as a looming disaster on the Aburi-Ayi Mensah road.

“A soon as possible within the capacity and the means of the state, we should act to do something before the next rainy season comes this year. If not we will be waiting for this looming disaster to strike,” he said.

Assessing the situation on the road which has seen multiple incidents of rockslide within the last two years, Dr. Kusimi told Ghanaweb in an interview that, even though the Aburi Mountain falls within a fault line making it prone to earthquakes, the current situation on a stretch of the road is as a result of the infiltration of water.

He said the construction of the road which saw parts of the mountain being scrapped off allowed water to permeate the mountain overtime. This he said has resulted in the mountain gaining more weight than it can hold.

According to the earth scientist, the gradient slope of the mountain which was rendered steeper due to the road construction, coupled with the penetration of water into the rocks is what has brought about the current situation of mass wasting currently being experienced.

“When the rocks were cut into and got exposed, we have a process we call weathering. The rocks were not exposed to water, now they are exposed to water. So the rocks got weathered and became loose.”

Speaking more on the factors influencing the situation of the rocks falling off to GhanaWeb, Dr. Kusimi said the erection of building structures on top of the mountain is serving as a major factor as it compounds to the weight of the mountain gained through the penetration of water.



He cautioned that should the right measures not be adopted in time to handle the situation, the risk of having a major disaster occur on the road stands very high, especially with the coming of the rainy season.

Proposing some measures that can serve as long term solutions to the recurrent incidents of a rockslide on the road, Dr. Kusimi said authorities should start by demolishing the structures which have been put up on the mountain.

“The time they were constructing the road was the time they should have done the netting. Now they should scrape all the loose materials, do a concrete spraying on the surfaces of the exposed rocks and then fix the net. So the few rabbles of loose stones that will fall the net will trap it. As for the removal of the buildings that is the first thing that has to be done.”

Furtherance to the scrapping of the rock surface and spraying concrete on it, some short rooted plants should be planted on the surface of the rocks to reduce any possible infiltration of water into the rocks, he proposed.

Dr Kusimi also called for the immediate seizure of all human activities such as quarrying on the mountain.



“Quarrying is taking place there, quarrying also has an effect that can trigger these things, especially if they are using very strong materials like dynamites to blow them up. It has a similar effect like the earthquake. So the quarrying has to stop, the building and construction of human infrastructure and all those human activities that are going to expose the rocks to weathering should be stopped.”

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