GGSA launches 110th anniversary
The Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) has launched its 110th anniversary, with a call on the authority to ensure that site and foundation investigations are conducted before any projects are constructed.
The GGSA, over the past century, apart from mineral exploration activities, played a crucial role in the construction of the Akosombo, Kpong and Bui hydroelectric dams as well as the Tema Motorway.
The GGSA Act, 2016 (Act 928), empowers the GGSA to conduct site or foundation investigations and issue certified reports before major construction works or projects that potentially impact the environment's subsurface structure, socio-economic, cultural and aesthetics.
A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, who made that call, urged the GGSA to strengthen collaboration with metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) and other stakeholders to make the ground investigations efficient.
Mr Duker said when that was done, it would help to curb the increasing incidence of collapsed buildings across the country.
He added that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources would support the authority to get a Legislative Instrument (L.I) to fully operationalise Act 928.
“I want to assure everyone that the Lands and Natural Resources ministry will provide the necessary support to realise this vision, not just for the benefit of GGSA but for the country,” he said.
The GGSA was started in 1913 as the Gold Coast Geological Survey Department, with the mandate to study the country in detail to assess its resource potential.
In 2016, it was given an authority status as one of the agencies under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, in accordance with Ghana Geological Service Act, 2016 (Act 928), to advise, promote and research on geoscientific
issues concerning mineral resources, groundwater, environment, geo-hazards and land use planning to support sustainable economic development in the country.
The GGSA also exists to advise the state to make informed decisions on geoscientific issues, data and information management in a user-friendly way to the government, industry and the public.
The 110th anniversary is on the theme: "Ghana’s sustainable industrial and socio-economic development: the pivotal role of the Ghana Geological Survey Authority."
It brought together key personalities, including former directors of GGSA, the Board Chairman of the Authority's board, P. Y. O. Amoako, and some stakeholders.
Mr Duker said in an era where the country was faced with challenges such as illegal mining, climate change and disasters that arose from natural phenomena, the GGSA needed to be more innovative in finding solutions to those challenges.
For his part, the acting Director-General of GGSA, Isaac Kuuwan Mwinbelle, said the GGSA had, over the 110 years of its existence, discovered many minerals and was currently doing commercial exploration for more minerals across the country.
"The GGSA has, undoubtedly, been one of the key institutions that has contributed significantly to nation-building, serving as a repository of geoscientific data and information for national development," he said.
Mr Mwinbelle said as part of the year-long 110th anniversary celebration, the authority would undertake earthquake education, lectures, seminars and conferences to bring its activities closer to the people.
Mr Mwimbelle said the GGSA was currently collaborating with all MMDAs to conduct ground investigations before the siting of development projects.
He said the authority was focused on working for the passage of the L.I to operationalise Act 928 as that would facilitate the discharge of their mandate, with cutting-edge technology and infrastructure, including remote sensing.