Michael Owusu-Tweneboah, a 26-year-old MPhil student in Mining Engineering, University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) Tarkwa, has won the third edition of the Quarry Life National Award (QLA).
His project on ‘Determination of the Best Soil Enrichment Method using ANOVA Technique’ was adjudged the best in this year’s QLA Campaign which was keenly contested by five other projects.
Mr. Owusu-Tweneboah was presented with a trophy and cheque of GH¢20,342.50 (€5000) at the National Awards ceremony held in Accra on Friday.
His closest competitor, Emmanuel Taye, who placed second with his project ‘Impacts of Quarry Dust on Water Resource and its Effect on Biodiversity: The Odonata Assessment; took home GH¢12,205.50 (€3000) and a trophy.
Masen Koranteng, who was third also won a trophy and GH¢6,102.75 (€1500), with his project an assessment of “Geospatial Analysis of biodiversity changes in and around the Yonqwa Quarry site.”
The five projects, including those of Daniel Cudjoe (‘Restoration of Biodiversity using Voandzeia subterranean (Bambara beans), and Jonas Dwomoh (‘Slope Wall Stability and Biodiversity Promotion: The Use of Gramineae-Bambusoideae (bamboo) who placed fourth and fifith respectively, were selected for the QLA initiative which seeks to source ideas towards the effective management of biodiversity in all mining sites of Heidelberg Cement (HC) Group, the parent company of GHACEM.
The guest speaker, Nii Osah Mills, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, in an address observed that Ghana’s natural resources contributed immensely to the socio-economic development as such efforts aimed at sustainable environmental management during and after extraction of mineral resources deserved special commendation.
He, therefore, applauded the organisers of the contest for driving this course and giving unique opportunity for Ghanaian students and researchers to raise their knowledge on biodiversity.
In his welcome address, the Managing Director of Ghacem, Morten Gade, noted that raising the knowledge of the biological value of mining sites and contributing to further enhancing it informed its parent company, Heidelberg Cement’s decision to launch the QLA Competition, stressing that the HC Group was committed to managing biodiversity during and after extraction.
He commended the QLA National Jury, Coordinators and the five finalists for demonstrating high professionalism during the period of research, saying Ghana chalked an enviable record in the global award in the first two editions, and the current team would have to go for the ultimate global prize.
In a report, National Jury member, Dr. Erasmus Owusu, a Conservation Biologist and Head of Department of Animal Biology and Conservation Science, University of Ghana-Legon, said the criteria used to select the best project included: Quality of work in the field; Transferability of work to other sites, nationally and globally; Scientific rigour and the significance of projects in improving the knowledge of mining ecology.