The Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) has so far removed over 21,000 submerged tree stumps along the various routes on the Volta Lake between 2018 and 2020.
The exercise has greatly helped in reducing the frequent marine accidents that claimed hundreds of lives and destroyed property worth thousands of Cedis on the Volta Lake.
Addressing the media in Accra on Wednesday during the Minister’s briefing, organised by the Information Ministry, Mr Thomas K. Alonsi, Director-General of GMA, said the exercise had enhanced safety of movement and boosted economic activities on the Volta Lake.
He said for instance, 2,200 tree stumps were removed along Dambai-Dodoikope route, 3,550 along Yeji-Makango route, 4,800 from Yeji to Awujakope, 10,490 along Tupangya-Tumpunjah-Kudorkope-Njare route, which is a 30-kilometre stretch.
Mr Alonsi explained that the exercise was still ongoing and could not provide the cost of the project.
Additionally, the Authority had acquired nine speed boats for patrols, search and rescue purposes on the country’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zones.
The speed vessels, Mr Alonsi explained, were being managed and operated under the GMA’s Vessel Traffic Management Information System, which enhanced electronic surveillance and monitoring of the country’s sea waters and oil fields.
Mr Alonsi said: “Before 2017 there was zero speed boat and so the new acquisition by the Authority had really increased awareness and safety of Ghana’s maritime domain”.
The GMA Boss also identified some human elements such as overloading of boats and drunkenness by some boat operators as some of the causes of marine accidents and assured of its readiness to deploy marine inspectors on the boats to arrest and sanction offenders in order to serve as a deterrent to others.
Mr Alonsi announced that the Authority had also acquired trash skimmers to help manage the insanitary conditions on the country’s coastline both onshore and offshore as well as for removal of weeds on water bodies.