Ghana to host Regional Centre for Humid Tropics Hydrology

16 May 2001 - Ghana is to host a Regional Centre for Humid Tropics Hydrology and Water Resources Management, which is due to become operational next year.

The Centre for African Wetlands of the University of Ghana (CAW) will house the Centre in spanking new premises.

CAW is mandated to focus on research, capacity building, networking, information dissemination, policy development and advocacy for the purpose of promoting sustainable wetland management in West Africa.

The Regional Centre for Humid Tropics Hydrology and Water Resources Management will be responsible for enhancing implementation of multidisciplinary water resources management strategies in West Africa and developing an appropriate mechanism and tools for integrating efforts between scientists and policy-makers, while fostering cooperation with the other centres for humid tropics hydrology.

Hydrologist Emmanuel Naah, who is stationed in UNESCO’s Nairobi (Kenya) office, journeyed to Accra last February to discuss the project. His mission followed up Ghana’s request to host the Centre during a meeting of the Council of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) in Paris (France) last June. The Centre will constitute part of Ghana’s follow-up to the World Conference on Science.

The main objectives of Mr Naah’s mission were to evaluate on the ground what resources Ghana was prepared to put forward and to launch the process of preparing a formal agreement between the Government of Ghana and UNESCO.

During a series of visits from 19 to 22 February, Mr Naah met with top officials from the University of Ghana and the Department of Hydrology within the Ministry of Works and Labour. He also visited the Water Research Institute, which provides scientific and technical information for the sustainable management of national water resources. All welcomed the creation of the Centre and pledged their active support and collaboration.

Together with the Secretary-General of the National Commission for UNESCO, Mr Naah met with the Minister of Education, Professor Ekumfi Ameyaw, and his senior team, and with the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Professor D.K. Fobi.

Assuring Mr Naah of his Government’s strong commitment to the Centre, Professor Ameyaw authorized the preparation of an agreement to be signed by his Government and by UNESCO. It was further agreed that seed money would ensure the smooth running of the Centre over the first couple of years.

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