13
Delivering on our promises

Science, Technology, Innovation, and Environment

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION AND ENVIRONMENT

The modern world economy is knowledge-based and technology-driven. Today, the management of energy, agriculture, medicine and health, clean air, potable water, transportation, sanitation and the conservation of natural resources are examples of sectors whose solutions are based on science and information technology. For Ghana to make strides in its development, science, technology and innovation must be essential elements in all aspects of the national development process.

 

It is against this backdrop that the Nana Addo-led administration is committed to promoting and leveraging the efforts of the scientific community to help transform the economy into a production-based one.

 

Management and Administration Programme

Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) pose serious threat to the environment if they are not disposed of appropriately. The government has been implementing the National Integrated E-waste Management Programme which is expected to minimise the adverse effects of E-waste on human health and environment. In connection with this, the government commissioned a training centre and health post at Old Fadama which is one of the places in Ghana where disposal of E-waste is prevalent. Furthermore, plastic waste is another major issue because they are not bio-degradable and randomly and carelessly disposed of. The government launched the Ghana National Plastics Action Partnership (NPAP) as part of efforts to accelerate the reduction of plastic waste and pollution in Ghana.

 

Climate change has several negative implications on sustainable land use. For this reason the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project (SLWMP) has supported 12,421 farmers with farm inputs to implement various SLWM technologies within 12 project districts in the Northern and Upper Regions. Another project which is being implemented to address the risks associate with climate change in the five Northern Regions is the Adaptation Fund Project. Under this project, some notable achievements have been:

  • 100 bore-holes constructed and installed with hand pumps;
  • Over 50 acres of buffer zones created (62,500 tree seedlings were planted in 50 communities) to protect dams, dugouts and rivers;
  • 10 dams were rehabilitated in 10 communities
  • 46 local NGOs based in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Savannah Regions were funded with a total sum of GH¢ 4,160,500.00 to implement Alternative Livelihood activities in the project communities.

Research and Development Programme

One of the proven ways of improving the health among populations is to enhance the nutritional and yield potential of staple crops they consume. In connection to this, the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) in collaboration with the University of Cape Coast produced the Yellow flesh cassava which contains high levels of β-Carotene, which is a precursor to Vitamin A which helps prevent blindness. Additionally, two colourful varieties of sweet potatoes were developed and released by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) whilst seven improved stress-tolerant cowpea lines and two high yielding and stress-tolerant groundnut lines received approval for release and cultivation. Furthermore, one improved soya bean variety christened “Favour” which has just been released has a yield potential of 3.5 tonnes/hectare and matures within 118 days and is expected to increase yields of farmers.

 

Telecommunications infrastructure are critical for supporting today’s inter-connected world. Telecommunication masts that are sited in populated areas may have emissions that could have harmful effects on the lives of people living close to them. For this reason, the GAEC monitored 762 telecommunication masts and assessed 302 base stations for compliance as well as 540 occupationally exposed workers involved in ionizing radiation. Furthermore, two laboratory facilities at the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI-GAEC) including the Radon Monitoring were commissioned to enhance the work of GAEC.

Illegal Mining (Galamsey)

Issues with illegal mining has been a concern for many because of the destruction to the environment and impact on human and wildlife owing to the chemical pollution as well. The government has been on the forefront in finding sustainable means of addressing it. As part of government’s commitment to sanitize artisanal and small-scale mining in the country, the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining provided oversight for the implementation of the following activities:

  • Public education and sensitization of traditional and religious leaders as well as other stakeholders on the dangers of illegal mining monitored and tracked 900 excavators used in mining operations leading to the arrest and deportation of 139 Chinese illegal miners.
  • Mapped out 300 concessions for commissioning by end of the year.
  • Constructed two landing sites on River Pra at Beposo and River Ankobra at Axim and imported two boats for transportation on these rivers.
  • Constructed a floating foot bridge at Chimuana at Chorkor to boost economic activity and movement across the river.
  • Purchased 12 outboard motors for the Operation Vanguard Task Force and the Riverine Task Force, which resulted in the arrest of over 1,727 illegal miners; seizure of 2,779 weapons and ammunitions as well as seizure of 4,045 other mining equipment.
  • Inaugurated 85 District Committees on Illegal Mining (DCIM).
  • Set up 11 CDVTIs and trained the first batch of 331 trainees. Furthermore, 345 tools and equipment, in various trade areas, have been procured and distributed to 345 beneficiaries.
  • Trained 4,500 miners in sustainable mining operations at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT)

 

Plans are also underway to resource and build the capacity of 14 mining courts to expedite the adjudication of cases relating to illegal mining activities. Additionally, a training programme has been planned for 2,000 miners on sustainable mining operations at the University of Mines and Energy, Tarkwa. The government also intends to provide the necessary facilities and infrastructure to operationalize the District Committee on Illegal Mining (DCIMS).

 

Spatial Planning and Human Settlement Programme

As part of efforts to address human settlement issues, the Legislative Instruments for the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 925 (2016) was passed in April 2019 and its fully functional. The Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA) trained all the 260 MMDAs on the Geographic Information System (GIS). The Regional Spatial Committees of the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions were inaugurated and fully functional. The plan of the government is to formulate a Human Settlement Policy, prepare Regional Spatial Development for three newly created regions and prepare a Spatial Development Framework (SDF) for the Central Region.

KEYNOTE SUMMARY

  • Training centre, health post and football pitch commissioned at Old Fadama to enhance safe dismantling of Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment.
  • 12,421 farmers supported with farm inputs to implement various Sustainable Land and Water Management Project technologies in 12 Districts.
  • The Adaption Fund Project in the five Northern Regions have
    • 100 boreholes constructed and installed with hand pumps
    • over 50 acres of buffer zones created
    • 10 dams rehabilitated
    • 46 local NGOs funded with a total of GH¢4,160,500 to implement alternative livelihood activities in the project communities
  • Ghana National Plastics Action Partnership (NPAP) launched as part of efforts to accelerate the reduction of plastic waste and pollution in Ghana
  • Improved varies of cassava, sweet potatoes and soya beans developed for farmers.
  • GAEC monitored 762 telecommunication masts and assessed 302 base stations for compliance as well as 540 occupationally exposed workers involved in ionizing radiation.
  • Comprehensive plan underway to combat illegal mining.
  • Legislative Instruments for the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 925 (2016) was passed