The Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR) has issued a dire warning that three coastal communities in the Volta Region of Ghana may become uninhabitable within the next 20 to 30 years unless immediate measures are taken to address the alarming situation.
Dr. Precious Mattah, Deputy Director at the Centre for Coastal Management, ACECoR, emphasized the gradual sinking of the coastal area and some mainlands in the Volta Region, attributing this phenomenon to recent activities that pose significant dangers.
Speaking at a Congress of Chiefs and Queens of Anlo during this year's Hogbetsotsoza traditional festival in Anloga, Dr. Mattah expressed, “Our land is sinking…in some 20 to 30 years to come, we may lose the entire Anloland.”
The congress provided a platform for chiefs, queens, and stakeholders in Anlo to discuss pressing issues in the region, particularly regarding the threat to coastal communities, including Anyanui, Agorkedzi, Atorkor, Woe, Keta, Kedzi, Adina, Denu, and Aflao.
Dr. Mattah highlighted that inland communities such as Agbozume, Nogokpo, Atiavi, and Shime have recently experienced flooding.
He explained that these lands are sinking at an annual rate of approximately one to four millimeters, which, while seemingly insignificant, poses a serious future threat to habitation.
He attributed this phenomenon, in part, to the extraction of underground water for salt mining operations, similar to the situation involving the salt mining company operating at Adina and Songhor.
Dr. Mattah recommended that miners seek alternative methods of sourcing seawater for their operations to prevent land submergence over time.
He also pointed out that climate change has led to the combination of two rainy seasons into one, disrupting proper drainage and causing flooding, especially in low-lying areas like Keta and Agbozume.
Regarding inland flooding, Dr. Mattah attributed it to the silting of the Keta Lagoon, which hinders other water sources from entering and instead results in water accumulation around Avu Lagoon and Agorbledokui areas.
Expressing reservations about the planned Keta Port project, Dr. Mattah emphasized the necessity of thorough research to understand the fragile nature of the land before commencing operations.
He recommended comprehensive feasibility studies and environmental assessments, highlighting the preference for hard and rocky terrains for harbor projects compared to the sandy Keta land.
These assessments would be crucial in safeguarding the region's future and mitigating environmental risks.
- Reporting by Benard Worlali Awumee: Editing by Adewale Adejoke