+233 (0) 302 962 720

Box LG 209, Legon, Accra

IESS receives laboratory equipment from St. Cloud State University

03 May 2019

  Prof. Gordon presenting the items on behalf of St. Cloud State University’s Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory to Prof. Asiedu (Provost, CBAS)

The Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS) has received a set of sampling and laboratory equipment from the St. Cloud State University’s Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis through the efforts of Prof Heiko Schoenfuss and Prof Paige Novak.

The equipment which includes an Ekman grab, mini water pumps, centrifuge, data loggers and laboratory consumables valued at about USD 10,000, were officially handed over to the Ecological Laboratory (EcoLab) of the IESS in a brief ceremony on Thursday, May 2, 2019. The donation follows the completion of the first phase of a collaborative research project between the US project partners and IESS themed ‘Improving the Sustainability of Aquaculture in Ghana through Environmental Quality Assessment’.

Of concern is the fact that cage aquaculture can result in large nutrient inputs to the sediment and water column from unconsumed fish food and fish feces. In addition, such cage aquaculture systems are often amended with biocides and antimicrobials, creating a load of low concentration chemicals to the fish pens and, therefore, the surrounding environment.

In Ghana, cage aquaculture has been found to contribute to bacterial contamination in areas of Lake Volta, though detailed studies focused on larger-scale changes to the water column and sediment microbial communities have not been performed. These are of particular interest given the nutrient and antimicrobial loading to these areas of intensive cage aquaculture production and the fact that the drinking water intake for the city of Accra is downstream from several large aquaculture facilities.

The research team therefore conducted an analysis of sediment, water and effluent samples in December, 2018 around aquaculture cage culture farms in the Lower Volta, for nano-level concentrations of harmful substances such as bacteria, biocides and antimicrobials using DNA analysis with the objective to inform management on needed steps that would ensure the protection of water quality and the preservation of native fish species in the face of expanding aquaculture production. The handing over of the equipment to Ecological Laboratory (EcoLab) of IESS was to enable the Institute to support graduate students and continue monitoring the related pollutant levels associated with aquaculture production in the Volta Basin.

      Prof. Asiedu handing over the equipment received from the Research Team Prof. Kwasi Appeaning Addo (Director, IESS)

The Provost of CBAS, Prof. Asiedu who handed over the equipment to IESS/EcoLab urged the Institute to judiciously use the equipment for the benefit of the entire University. The director of the Institute, Prof Kwasi Appeaning Addo on his part was grateful to the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory team for the gesture and pledged to put the equipment to good use.

Prof. Gordon (T) and Mr. Emmanuel Ansah (B), Principal Laboratory Technician at the EcoLab demonstrating the use of some of the equipment

Present at the handing over ceremony include the Senior Assistant Registrar, Research Fellows and Technicians of the Institute based at EcoLab.

An Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) at the Ecolab