The Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) is set to undertake significant initiatives this year, including the conversion of seismic stations to SIM card transmission for real-time data collection for earthquake monitoring.
The Director-General of the GGSA, Isaac Kuuwan Mwinbelle, made the disclosure yesterday in an interview with the Daily Statesman on insights into the Authority’s plans and projects for the year, how these initiatives align with long-term strategic goals, and the contingency plans in place to navigate uncertainties that may arise during the year.
Mr. Mwinbelle explained that the seismic stations, currently transmitting data via satellites, pose challenges. The plan, he said, is to shift to SIM card transmission leveraging the extensive mobile network coverage across the country.
He explained that this transition aims to ensure the immediate detection and response to seismic events, providing accurate information to the public promptly.
“Currently, in virtually almost the entire country, there is a mobile network. So we can easily transmit, and once we have the SIM card, we can get the data in real-time. Because currently transmitting the data to the National Data Centre is by satellites, which sometimes gives us problems,” he bemoaned.
Mr Mwinbelle stressed the importance of swift responses in the event of seismic activities, stating, “In case of an event, there immediately, the information is even on my phone, and we can detect that yes, it has occurred at this place and be able to tell us where it has occurred, the location, the magnitude, and then we can respond immediately to the public.”
The Director-General of GGSA said the Authority had 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 noted.
Mr. Mwinbelle said the GGSA will also continue celebrating its 110-year anniversary, intending to culminate the celebration in October this year. Simultaneously, he mentioned that the Authority will continue its core mandate of conducting systematic geological mapping of the country.
He added that the Authority would also undertake earthquake education, lectures, seminars, and conferences to bring its activities closer to the people.
Mr. Mwinbelle indicated that 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 operationalize Act 928 as that would facilitate the discharge of their mandate, with cutting-edge technology and infrastructure, including remote sensing.
He also reiterated the Authority’s commitment to formulating a comprehensive 10-year strategic plan. This strategic vision is designed to ensure the complete and successful implementation of the Authority’s activities.
He further touched on concerns about potential development along the slope of hills, earthquake preparedness, and recent seismic activities. Mr. Mwinbelle urged the public to remain calm during such occurrences.
He emphasised the need for proper sensitization and urged developers to construct structures resilient to seismic impacts.
He provided practical advice on earthquake safety, urging people to drop down, take cover, and hold tight during seismic events. For those driving, staying inside the vehicle is recommended as it can act as a shield against falling objects.
He reaffirmed the GGSA’s commitment to continue generating valuable information for national development and supporting institutions and companies requiring geological services.