The Director General of Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Thomas Kofi Alonsi, has disclosed that over 21,000 tree stumps have been removed from the water channels in the country.
He said the Authority initiated the action between 2018 and 2020 to create safe navigational channels in the waterway.
The over 21,000 tree stumps were removed from various routes on the Volta Lake between 2018 and 2020: 2.5km Dambai – Dodoikope – 2,200 tree stumps; 8km Yeji – Makango – 3,550 tree stumps; 11km Yeji – Awujakope – 4,800 tree stumps; and 30km Tumpunjah–Kudorkope–Dambai–Njare – 10,490 tree stumps.
Mr Kofi Alonsi explained that the exercise was also to ensure the preservation of lives and property and reduction of accident in the water bodies and increase economic activities in the water channels.
He said the Authority is fine-tuning legal backings to destroy some illegal wooden boats used in perpetrating criminal activities in the water bodies.
“GMA also proposed amendments to the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) in line with current trends to facilitate the prosecution of pirates,” he said.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information’s press briefing, he intimated that the Authority had acquired five patrol boats for surveillance to help adequately respond to emergencies.
According to him, the boats are being deployed in the ports of Tema and Takoradi for patrols in the maritime domain to ensure security by warding off pirates.
It is also aimed at preventing the smuggling of small arms and illicit drugs, reduce robberies on vessels that call at ports and anchorages, and prevent of pollution of water bodies.
He said vigorous measures are being initiated to curb piracy and other crimes, disclosing that the Authority had a stakeholders meeting with Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Maritime Security Architecture in Nigeria and Benin Republic to that effect.