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Business News of Monday, 3 August 2015

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Port expansion works destroy tidal station

Ghana can no longer collect data on the changing levels of the sea due to the destruction of equipment at the Tidal Gauge Station at the Takoradi Port, the Head of the Marine and Fisheries Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, Dr Kwasi Appeaning-Addo, has said.

Speaking at the sidelines of a climate change thematic area workshop organised by the Economy of Ghana Network (EGN), in collaboration with the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), he said the equipment, which were installed in 1929, had been destroyed as a result of ongoing expansion works at the Takoradi Port.

Dr Appeaning-Addo stated that the destruction of the equipment had not only affected data gathering of the ocean’s movement by Ghana, but had also affected the global community, which depended on Ghana for data on the sea’s movement and Ghana’s leading role in the provision of scientific data to monitor the ocean.

He noted that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) used the data from Takoradi as one of the basis in arriving at changes in the ocean, “So it is a huge asset that we have just destroyed. Our role in contributing to global scientific research so far as sea level change is concerned is affected.”

Moreover, future generations would be unable to get the current data on changes of the levels of the sea to base their analyses on, he added.

“We are able to understand some of these things based on the data we have collected over the years. So if we are destroying what we came to meet, what it means is that the future generation would have nothing to validate some of the models they may be working on,” he explained.

Dr Appeaning-Addo stated that although satellites now gave them some information on the activity within the ocean, the information needed validation and real-time captured data from the station could help validate some of the satellite data. Without such captured data it was very difficult to do proper confirmation, he said.

He stressed that the tide gauge was very important because it gave an idea of how the sea level was behaving “and this tide gauge has been collecting data since 1929. When you have a long-term data you are able to analyse a situation and know exactly what is happening,” he stated.

Professor Samuel Codjoe, Director, Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana, Legon, who spoke on “Environmental hazard and livelihood options in a coastal area in Ghana: A case of sea flooding,” expressed satisfaction at the reclamation and the stopping of erosion as a result of the Keta sea defence wall project.

He, however, indicated that although the aim to stop erosion and reclaim land for resettlement had been achieved, there was evidence that erosion was now moving to the east towards Togo, which needed some attention.

He said a survey conducted had shown that as a result of environmental challenges along the coast, people had migrated towards the Afram Plains and Denu in the Volta Region and Tema, because those areas still had their landing sites.