The Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) is in need of US$200 million investment to establish a national seismic network for enhanced earthquake monitoring.
According to Isaac Kuuwan Mwimbelle, Acting Director-General of GGSA, the network would enable the provision of real-time seismic data to ensure the safety of the citizenry.
Speaking at a workshop in Accra yesterday, he said the network would allow the Authority to transmit real-time information on earthquake and other happenings to inform the development of earthquake-resilient structures.
He said the GGSA currently depends on data from the Weija and Achimota observatory stations as well as other stations dotted across the country.
He noted that, assessment of earthquake was carried-out manually by field officers for data which was then transmitted through a satellite.
That, Mr Mwimbelle said, was not effective and brings about delay in data transmission, hence the need to switch to a SIM modem platform for effective transmission.
“The absence of seismic network is a challenge to the operations of GGSA in terms of monitoring earthquake.
What we do now is go to the field to gather data before we are able to respond to queries on earthquake. That means we delay in communicating information that borders on the safety of citizens. We need an investment in the network to enable the GGSA transmit real-time data on earthquake,” he added.
Mr Mwimbelle said the network would enable the authority to disseminate safety information to the public through their personal devices.
He stated that, the authority had engaged the government on the need to set up the seismic observatory network, make it fully functional and resource it to be able to transmit real-time data.
In the meantime, the Director-General said the GGSA had intensified discussions with managers of high-rise buildings and other state agencies including the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to sensitise them to earthquake safety response.
He said the Authority was formulating legislations to enforce adherence to safety mechanisms in the development of buildings in the country.
The Director-General rejected claims about the lack of earthquake prediction by the GGSA saying that “earthquakes cannot be predicted but rather we forecast by looking at current happenings to keep citizens on alert so that the impact will be minimal.”
Mr Mwimbelle said the authority was working on multiple streams to enhance its internally generated funds through the commercialisation of ceramic products and engaging mining companies to access the geological data developed by the authority
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS