The Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS), University of Ghana held the Volta Scoping Study Panel Discussion meeting on Tuesday, 10th September, 2013 at the IIAS Conference Room, International House, Legon.
The meeting was a preliminary step in the Volta Scoping Study of the Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) programme of the International Water Management Institute. WLE seeks to examine how the changes in external socio-ecological drivers (both at basin scale and smaller farm scale) affect production systems and how management responses in production systems in turn impact ecosystem services and the broader environment.
The meeting was to help determine: how these changes impact natural resources at basin and landscape scales, how to measure changes in critical ecosystem services and how to use this information to improve policy decisions and management responses.
The thirty (30) member panel consisted of researchers and students of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, representatives from International Water Management Institute, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research-WRI, Bioversity International, WorldFish, Farmer groups, and international exchange students from Washington State University-USA, King’s College-UK and Stanford University.
The discussion focused on the challenges within the Volta basin and its communities, interventions undertaken and the way forward for addressing challenges.
On challenges the panel identified the creation of the dam and attendant loss of livelihood, public health, climate change, flooding and pesticide use along the lower Volta as major challenges affecting the Volta basin and its inhabitants.
The panel further reviewed and discussed successful intervention undertaken at the Volta basin including resettlement for displaced communities, policy framework on environment, water use along with agriculture, and government infrastructure development.
Finally, on discussing the way forward in addressing challenges along the basin, the panel focused on the sustainable management of water weeds, water use along the basin, waste management and funding and insurance for agro business.