Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Works and Housing, inspecting sea defence projects in Cape Coast.  Picture: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Works and Housing, inspecting sea defence projects in Cape Coast. Picture: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
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Sea erosion threatens defence wall projects

The ravaging sea is inching towards unprotected portions of the coast around the Aboadze Thermal Plant in the Shama District in the Western Region, threatening the long term survival of the existing portion of the sea defence project.

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The existing sea defence wall in the area is intended to protect the thermal units of the Volta River Authority (VRA) and Takoradi International Company.

However, between one of the newly built Twin-City Power (Amandi) and the VRA’s thermal units is a long stretch of about 700 metres without a defence wall.

That stretch is currently being eroded as the ravaging sea steadily eats away the shore.

Engineers have expressed concern that the situation could compromise the Aboadze Thermal Plant and Twin-City Energy Power Plant installations in the long term.

If the erosion impacts the Aboadze power enclave, the country could lose a substantial part of its energy generation mix.

The Aboadze Thermal Plant and the Twin City Energy generate up to about 530 megawatts of power per day.

The Head of Coastal Division of the Ghana Hydrological Authority, Yiadom Boakye Akoto, told the Daily Graphic that the situation “is a threat to the power plants”.

The concerns expressed by Mr Boakye Akoto, an engineer, comes on the heels of similar issues observed by the Minister of Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, during a working tour of the Central Region last Thursday.

“Considering the investments in these plants, the economic benefits of the infrastructure far outweigh the cost of protecting the shore,” Mr Boakye Akoto said.

He said there were three lines of coconut plants as part of a defence line to protect the area from erosion but two of those lines had since been lost, with the third one currently under threat.

“The beach fronting these assets has remained vulnerable to the harsh conditions of tidal waves and sea level rises due to climate change. 

Erosion, recession

He said the unprotected section was vulnerable to the threat of coastal erosion and recession.

“The exposure of the unprotected section of the coastline to the vagaries of tidal wave impacts could result in massive erosion of the coastline and adjoining land, and thus pose a threat to the Takoradi Thermal Power Station, Twin City Energy and other critical state assets within the enclave in the medium to long term.

“This situation is impacting negatively the power plant installations and the community at large. It is feared the nation might lose huge investment made in these power stations if the coastline fronting these assets are not protected,” he told the Daily Graphic.

Mr Boakye Akoto said Aboadze’s neighbouring coastline, the Shama-Anlo beach, was under serious threat due to tidal wave impacts, stressing that beaches near Shama-Anlo had recently been rapidly degrading at an alarming rate.

“The main cause of this incident is the sea level rise brought on by climate change and its associated repercussions.

Moreso, economic fishing activities along the shore of Aboadze, Shama and Anlo beach is on the decline due to tidal wave impact, erosion of landing site for the fishing boats and other factors.

“Until recently, coastal protection works built by the Hydrological Services Department (now Ghana Hydrological Authority) provided relief to areas of the coastline.

Without a doubt, the exposed and unprotected coastal sections of the Aboadze thermal power enclave and Shama-Anlo beaches remain vulnerable to tidal wave effect.

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“Implementation of a coastal protection scheme to safeguard the nation's power generation assets, mitigate coastline erosion, and lessen tidal flooding is required. This will enhance economic growth along the coastal communities of Aboadze and Shama-Anlo,” Mr Boakye Akoto said. 

Sand winning

Sand winning is threatening portions of the sea defence project in the capital of the Central Region.

This came to light during an inspection of some sea defence projects by the Minister of Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, last Thursday.

He inspected works on sea defence projects in Anomabo, Cape Coast, Elmina and Komenda.

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Mr Oppong Nkrumah raised the concern with the Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, and appealed to traditional authorities in the project area to help to protect such huge infrastructure development.

Osabarimba Kwesi Atta said the traditional council had already observed the problem with sand winning at the shore, and the impact it could have on some of the project site.

He said that had compelled the traditional council and the district assembly to set up a task force to apprehend perpetrators, and pledged that the traditional council would support efforts to stop the menace.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah later told the media that the government was committed to getting contractors on all stalled sea defence projects back to site to complete them.

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He said some of the sea defence projects could be completed in two months.

He stressed that the eight sea defence projects commenced in 2017 were all more than 80 per cent done.

He said while some of the work had delayed due to financial challenges, all such issues had been resolved and contractors had agreed to go back to the sites.

The minister engaged various stakeholders, including fishermen, during the tour and addressed various concerns raised during the interactions.

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