The Acting Director General of the Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA), Isaac Kuunwan Mwinbelle, has disclosed that his outfit is developing a Legislative Instrument (L.I) to fully operationalise the GGSA Act 2016, (Act 928) to be able to carry out its mandate.
The Act, which received presidential assent in 2016, empowers the GGSA to provide guidance on geoscientific matters related to mineral resources, groundwater, environment, geo-hazards, and land use planning to foster sustainable economic development.
Addressing stakeholders during the launch of the GGSA’s 110th-anniversary celebration in Accra, Mr Mwinbelle emphasised the need to fully operationalise Act 928, saying “the L.I aims to streamline the GGSA’s functions, ensuring the effective execution of its mandate”.
The acting GGSA Director General further revealed 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.
Mr Mwinbelle also highlighted the GGSA’s achievements over the past decade. These accomplishments encompassed geological mapping, groundwater potential investigations, and the discovery of minerals.
He stressed the importance of modernizing data collection processes to enhance efficiency in mapping data interpretation and integration.
He also revealed that the GGSA is collaborating with local authorities such as with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to ensure that ground investigation were conducted and certified report issued by the Authority prior to major construction works or projects.
That, he indicated, would reduce wrongful siting of buildings along weak geological structures such as faulty unconsolidated earth, and curtail the menace of rampant collapsing of development structure.
The 110th year anniversary is under the themed “Ghana’s Sustainable Industrial and Socio-economic Transformation: The Pivotal Role of the Ghana Geological Survey Authority”.
Launching the year-long celebration, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of mines, George Mireku Duker, underscored the government’s recognition that in order for the GGSA to make meaningful contributions to the developmental goals of the country, it must stay at the forefront of geoscientific information.
He, therefore, stressed the need to enact Legislative Instruments (LIs) to help operationalise the Ghana Geological Survey Authority Act, 2016 (Act 928).
He gave the assurance that the Ministry will be available to provide the necessary support to realise this vision, not just for the benefit of GGSA but for Ghana.
“Mr. Chairman, Our country is faced with challenges which require a more prominent role of the Authority in addressing societal challenges. These challenges are not limited to illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) or the rampant collapse of buildings but also include sustainable food supply, climate change, and disaster management that arise from natural phenomena such as floods and earthquakes,” he stated.
In this context, he indicated that Act 928 empowers the GGSA to conduct site or foundation investigations and issue certified reports before major construction works or projects that potentially impact the environment’s subsurface structure, socio-economic, cultural and aesthetics.
He expressed the hope that these factors would be considered with the development of the upcoming Legislative Instruments (LIs) of the GGSA to give firm backing to Act 928.
He encouraged the GGSA to strengthen its collaboration and stakeholder engagements with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, Traditional Authorities and other Government Agencies to make the implementation process a smooth one.
He also urged the GGSA to expand its outreach programmes to educate communities on natural disasters and natural resources management, as well as schools so that young people can learn about them at an early stage.