The Ghana Institution of Geoscientists (GhIG) is warning of looming danger in the country following recently recorded landslides on the Aburi Mountain.
The recurring landslides on the Aburi hills have raised fears of a deadly disaster waiting to happen. In a spate of 2 weeks, two landslides were recorded on the portion of the Peduase-Ayi Mensah stretch of the Aburi road.
The development resulted in the closure of the affected lane to traffic. In a release, the Geoscientists demanded immediate action to address the development.
“Indeed, we are sitting on a looming danger and the need to address these issues now is important. It is also equally important to educate the general public to be good stewards of the environment”
According to the GhIG it is the recent heavy rains which have triggered the landslides and rock-falls on the Akwapim-Togo Range. The scientists are blaming failure to conduct proper assessment of the topography before construction of the dual-carriage lane for the development.
“The Aburi-Ayi Mensah dual-carriage road used to be a single lane until it was redesigned into its current state to ease access to and from the Aburi for motorists. During the construction of the dual-carriageway, the footwall of the hill was cut back without adequate assessment of the geological structures and the general geodynamics of the hill”.
The Geoscientists warn of similar dangers in areas such as the Kasoa Toll-booth, Ablekuma, MacCarty Hill, Gbawe, Kwabenya, Ofankor, Nkawkaw scarp, Voltaian Scarp (Camp), Jamase-Ashanti Mampong, Gambaga-Nakpanduri Road, Larteh Road and their surrounding areas “which all falls part of a mountainous range, are subject to the risk of possible rockfalls and landslides”.
“The occurrence of these natural catastrophic events may be accelerated by heavy rains, earth tremors and earthquakes as well as the surge in un-controlled, non-standardized and indiscriminate human activities”.
The GhIG is calling for a closer collaboration among stakeholders such as Ministers responsible for Works and Housing, Roads and Highways and the general public of the need to collaborate in the sustainable development of projects in the country “in other to forestall or minimize the effects of these disasters in our communities”.
It is also demanding regulated zoning of communities based on geological and geodynamics of rock formations both surface and sub-surface on which rests development projects.
“The mountain range over-looking Accra which was at a point declared a green-belt zone, where human activities were to be controlled, but subsequently, massive developmental projects, including buildings sprang up without any consideration to the geological structures that host these development projects”.
The Ghana Institution of Geoscientists is demanding creation of “safety buffer zones from the road to the toe of the hill and thereafter stabilize any steep slope along the stretch through multiple benching”.
“Where necessary, various rock support techniques should be incorporated, such as rock or cable bolting, retaining walls, geosynthetics and the appropriate wire meshing”. The statement added.
Long term solution
As a way forward and in order to minimize and forestall future occurrences of similar geohazards and other geoengineering activities, the GhIG is suggesting the following:'
a. All materials for road construction, buildings and other civil works must be certified by a qualified Geoscientists. This is to ensure that these materials do not contain any injurious minerals that may not be suitable for the required building or civil works.
b. The GhIG stands in readiness to partner any governmental agency in the standardization of geomaterials suitable for road, buildings and any construction works so that all stakeholders will have value for money, safety, environmental stewardness that would ultimately lead to sustainable development.