The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), on Friday, inaugurated an environmental monitoring laboratory to promote and improve teaching and research activities in the university.
Additionally, the laboratory would help the university to conduct consultancies for major mining and allied companies in extension services including water analysis, blast monitoring, rock and soil testing, meteorological data and community training in environmental monitoring.
Executed by the group, DEMSI Contracting A/S, a Danish company under Danish loan agreement of 8,626,303 million Euros, the project saw DANIDA providing 785,583 Euros while the Nordea Bank gave a loan facility of 7,840,723 Euros.
The seven-unit facility include laboratories for analytical chemistry, air and water quality and waste water, geotechnical,petrology geophysical and a mobile laboratory.
The Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Prof. Jerry S.Y Kuma, in his address, recalled that in 2009, the university submitted a request through the Ministry of Education to establish the laboratory through a DANIDA mixed-tied credit facility, explaining that the project was part of plans to open the Department of Environmental and Safety Engineering.
Approval, he said, came in June 2013, after which the contract was signed with DEMSI Contracting A/S with handing over done in February 2019, after installations and inauguration of the equipment and various components.
Prof. Kuma stated that scientific research was providing the driving force for the development of many countries, and believed that the changing face of environmentally related challenges must therefore be of concern to stakeholders, considering the extent of environmental degradation Ghana witnessed recently.
“UMaT will continue to support the fight to curtail the problems through research and the dissemination of knowledge to achieve a more sustainable future,” he said.
Noting that UMaT had provided consultancy services in a wide range of fields over the years, the Vice Chancellor said, the laboratories could be compared to any laboratory in the world.
However, he observed that samples were shipped abroad for analysis at higher cost to obtain results and therefore, urged companies to redirect their samples to UMaT for assured testing and analysis.
Prof. Kuma added, “The establishment of this laboratory shows that we are already on course and I can assure you that it will play a very crucial role in achieving the dream to become the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) of Africa. We are here today to carry out this important ceremony after a long decade of hard work.”
He said: “With the acquisition of some state-of-the-art equipment, the university is also optimistic of improving post-graduate research which is envisioned to serve as a driver to solving some of the numerous challenges we face in the industry. I call on industry players to take advantage of this opportunity and support more staff to undertake post-graduate course in UMaT.”
The mandate of UMaT, he said, had always targeted ensuring the advancement of Ghana’s science and engineering research and education enterprise, assuring that, “We shall continue to create frontiers of knowledge that drives innovation.”
He thanked Prof. Newton Amegbey, the Director of University Laboratories, the driving force behind the completion of the project and his team, for the roles they played to make the journey a success.
The Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, recognised that UMaT initiatives were expected to improve service delivery, promote growth, create jobs, help to test water quality, soil conditions, air pollution and supporting the education of environmental engineers.
“Denmark sincerely hopes that this laboratory will be used to optimum effect and to have positive impact on the local economy of Tarkwa and Ghana.”
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TARKWA