Some fishermen at Kpone have attributed the declining fortunes in the fishing industry to changes in the climatic conditions within the area.
This misfortune, the fishermen observed, could be because of the activities of some industries within the Kpone area, which may be having diverse effects on the weather with consequences on the breeding capacity of the fishes in the adjoining sea.
This was made known to the Ghana News Agency during a research tour organized by Alliance for Empowering Rural Communities, Abibinsroma Foundation, 350 Ghana, and Friends of the Earth Ghana to explore the challenges that confronted the fisher men at Kpone.
In an interview with the GNA, Mr. Daniel Tetteh Narteh, one of the leading fishermen in the community, claimed that the channelling of warm water into the sea by some companies at Kpone have affected fishing activities.
Mr. Narteh noted that, due to the nature of the coastline, most waste materials from other shores in Accra were easily washed to Kpone where the materials had currently piled up and affected their trade.
Nii Teye Okyeame, the Linquist of the Chief Fisherman, Kpone, appealed to the various industries in Kpone to invest more in the activities of the fisher men in the Kpone community and help them improve upon their fishing activities.
“We would be particularly grateful if the industries could team up with the Assembly to construct a landing facility, which was vital to the promotion of fishing in Kpone,” Nii Okyeame pleaded.
In a reaction, Mr. Solomon Tettey Appiah, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Kpone-Katamanso, observed that indeed, pollution was an issue in Kpone.
He however insisted that industries channelling of water used to cool its turbines into the sea was done in such a way that did not affect fishing in any way since they employed a technology that safeguarded the environment.
“These things are not just done; they involve careful planning and application of modern technology that did not affect the fishes in anyway,” Mr Appiah said.
In connection with the landing beaches, the MCE hinted that, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aqua-Culture was actually constructing such facilities in fishing communities and Kpone would benefit.
He pledged for the Assembly’s support to make sure that fishing activities were protected since, they were important for the livelihoods of the people of Kpone and Ghana in general.
Mr. Fredrick Danso, the Health, Safety, Environment, Social and Security Manager of Cenpower Generation Company, one of the companies operating in the area, said that the Company was committed to socially and environmentally sustainable approach to delivering its operations and complied with all local and international sustainability regulations.
He said the Kpone Independent Power Plant (KIPP) had a time-tested globally accepted system, which used sea water for plant cooling purposes.
“Engineering studies were carried out prior to construction activities to ensure that water from plant cooling activities returned to the environment (sea) and did not increase the temperature by not more than three degrees Celsius (3°C) so as not to have any adverse effect on aquatic life,” he said.
Mr. Danso indicated that this was strictly adhered to during operations and the company had been complying with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements for thermal power plant, and International Finance Corporation, Environmental Health and Safety Guidelines for Thermal Power Plants.
“In addition, KIPP has installed modern monitoring and alarm systems which prompt the Plant Operator and ensure that relevant safe discharge levels are not exceeded since preventive actions would be carried out once the operator is prompted ahead of water being discharged into the sea,” he added.
Mr. Danso said Cenpower operations were also subjected to periodic inspections of plant processes, including effluent discharges, by relevant agencies, particularly EPA, Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), the Energy Commission, and other regulatory institution, to ensure that plant operations did not adversely impact the environment.
Mr. Danso emphasized, that, “Far from adversely affecting the fishing community, Cenpower, as a good corporate citizen, has had a positive impact on the Kpone fishing community and will continue to ensure such positive impact.