Within the framework of the joint project RAIN from the Client II funding measure of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), a delegation of two research assistants from FiW and Ruhr University Bochum travelled to Ghana in the last two weeks of February. It was the second trip to the target area after the project start in June 2019. The two weeks were successfully used to strengthen the contacts in the pilot regions in Ghana and to further specify the project contents.
In the first week a workshop with the Ghanaian project partners of KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) took place in Kumasi. On this occasion, the project team exchanged views with local representatives of the planning and engineering departments on the adaptation of water management plans, early warning systems and about the different groups of stakeholders. The use of innovative and locally adapted water treatment processes was also discussed. In the course of the workshop, several sites on and near the university campus were visited, which could be considered for the installation of pilot plants for grey and stormwater treatment. The management of the plants is to be taken over by Ghanaian students with the aim of a sustainable personnel capacity building.
As in Kumasi, meetings between the project partners took place in Accra. Here Envaserv Research Consult and the IESS (Institute for Environmental and Wastewater Studies – University of Ghana) met with the two experts from the delegation. In particular, the different factors influencing the quality of surface water in Ghana were discussed. In this context, different factors influencing the water quality of permanent and temporary water reservoirs were examined. Special focus was placed on unregulated water use and wastewater discharge, the influence of the rainy season and the role of informal settlements. For the establishment of intelligent water management, knowledge of both the water quantity during the dry season and the dynamic changes in water quality are important.
In addition, meetings were held with local decision-makers at municipal level in Accra. Thus, agreements could be made with Mr. Daniel Alexander Nii Noi Adumuah, district manager of the municipality of Adenta, to support the project. But even before our cooperation, the topics of the RAIN project were already present in the municipality of Adenta. For instance, advanced methods for the management of water resources, such as fish farming and recycling possibilities, were already being worked on.
Furthermore, by presenting the project to the National Water Resources Commission (WRC), the project consortium has expanded the project network at the highest political level. The Commission is responsible for the regulation and management of Ghana’s water resources and the coordination of government policy in relation to these resources. Many links between the RAIN project and the WRC can be found in this respect. These are mainly in the area of integration and transfer of local measures to improve the water quality of surface waters in regional and national water management plans.
FiW has returned to Germany with many new impressions and insights and hopes to continue the productive and successful discussions with the local project partners soon.