The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), has inaugurated a newly built Environmental Monitoring Laboratory in Tarkwa to strengthen teaching and research activities.
The facility is expected to help UMaT to conduct consultancies for major mining and allied companies as part of their extension services in water analysis, blast monitoring, rock and soil testing and provision of meteorological data and community training in environmental monitoring and other related fields.
In 2009, the University submitted a request through the Ministry of Education to establish the laboratory through a DANIDA mixed-tied credit facility.
Approval was given to the request and in June 2013, a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the Environmental Monitoring Laboratory was signed between UMaT and DESMI Contracting A/S, a Danish company at a total sum of 8,626,306 million Euros.
The loan agreement for the laboratory was signed between the Ghana Government represented by the Ministry of Finance and Nordea Bank Denmark A/S in November, 2016.
Under the loan agreement, DANIDA provided a cash grant of 785,583 million Euros while Nordea Bank provided a loan facility worth 7,840,723 million Euros.
The technical handover of the Laboratory was held on 5th February, 2019, following the installation and commissioning of the equipment and various components under the Project.
Mr Alexander Kwaning, the Representative of the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation said the project would help the country to keep up with global trend and address the socio-economic needs in the Environmental sector.
UMaT should work more with the Ministry and share their findings with the Ministries and agencies like Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), he entreated.
Mr Kwaning appealed to UMaT to take good care of the equipment to enable them recoup the heavy investment that was made in setting up the laboratory.
He thanked the government and citizens of Denmark for their continuous assistance to Ghana.
Professor Jerry Kuma, Vice Chancellor of UMaT, mentioned that the Environmental Monitoring Laboratory was made up of seven units; Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, Air Quality Laboratory, Water Quality and Waste Water Laboratory, Geotechnical Laboratory, Petrological Laboratory, Geophysical Laboratory and Mobile Laboratory.
He explained that the University through the facility has provided consultancy services to various companies in a wide range of fields over the years.
"I know some of the samples from your companies are usually sent outside this country for analysis, where you also pay higher costs to obtain the results", he indicated.
Prof Kuma called on companies to direct their samples to the University for analysis and testing, adding that, they would be assured of the best results at moderate fees.
Madam Tove Degnbol, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, was hopeful that the laboratory would be used to the optimum effect to enable it have positive impact on the local economy of Tarkwa and the country as a whole.
She congratulated the Vice Chancellor and his staff for the commitment they exhibited in getting the laboratory operational, stressing that, "the embassy is encouraged when the project owners show such dedication".
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