University of Ghana launches book on Korle environment
The book, titled: “Environmental Health and Disaster Risks, Livelihoods and Ecology within the Korle Lagoon Complex in Accra, Ghana” is the result of extensive research, and focuses on health and disaster risks in the surrounding communities, livelihoods and the effects of human activities on the Korle Lagoon and its ecosystem.
The new study on the lagoon and its environment employs a multi-disciplinary approach, which assesses the health risks and impact of the environment, perceptions to risk through participatory approaches, as well as chemical contamination along points of the lagoon and the Odaw River.
According to Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, provost of the College of Humanities, University of Ghana, the study had managed to unveil some of the details that sometimes escaped foreign experts.
Prof. Agyei-Mensah noted that there was hitherto, little human activity in the areas surrounding the lagoon, but it had now seen a sprout of low-income high-density urban settlements, especially the low-lying area to the east of the lagoon known as Old Fadama.
He said the lagoon and its immediate surroundings were plagued with various sources of pollution, such as the improper waste disposal from the settlements along its banks, industries in the South Industrial Area, and the daily burning of tyres to salvage copper and other metals from electronic waste.
Prof. John Gyapong, Pro Vice Chancellor of the university’s Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), said that although the lagoon had been the subject of numerous attempts to redeem it, none of them had been successful.
“It looks as if in our attempts to fix it, we are mopping a leaking tap. Unless we make bold steps, we will just be scratching the surface of the problem.” He said.
He also stressed the need to address the issue of slums and their accompanying social problems.
The 93-page book is co-authored by Prof Jacob Songsore, Dr. Osman Alhassan, Mr. Sebastian K. Avle, Dr. Paulina Amponsah, Mr. Marshall Kala and Dr. Mary Chama, in the hope that it will enlighten students and practitioners, provide some insight to policy makers, and better the lives of the people in the region.