Borehole water is not always safe

Research conducted by the National Isotope Hydrology Center (NIHC) of the National Nuclear Research Institute of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has established that water from boreholes is not always safe for domestic use.

This is owed to the fact that most of the land sites on which boreholes are drilled for water may be contaminated with toxic chemicals and heavy metals.

 

Dr. Cynthia Laar
Dr. Cynthia Laar

Dr. Cynthia Laar, a Research Scientist at the NIHC, who made this known in an interview at the Commission, explained that many of these boreholes are drilled without conducting a proper investigation to ascertain the appropriateness of the site as a source of water for domestic use.

“Dental fluorosis, arsenic poisoning, liver and lung cancers are some of the health issues associated with the use of contaminated groundwater” she stressed.

 

Also, Dr. Abass Gibrilla, a Research Scientist at the NIHC advised that borehole water should be tested every two years at least, to ascertain the safety of the water for its continued use.

He noted that the Isotope Hydrology Center uses nuclear technology to investigate the origin, age, recharge mechanisms, and sources of contaminants in groundwater.

“The Center is also involved in site investigations, supervision of borehole drilling and water quality tests”, he indicated.

He added that the NHIC has a well-equipped laboratory and well-qualified human resources needed to support active groundwater research.

 

Dr. Abass Gibrilla
Dr. Abass Gibrilla

Dr. Gibrilla, therefore, urged Ghanaians to show much concern on the quality of the water they drink and take the necessary steps to ensure that their water sources (boreholes) are well constructed and tested to ensure they are free from contaminants and other toxins, which he said were harmful to human health.

“Water is life, But the quality of water we drink defines our health”, he concluded.

 

By CPRC/CCD, GAEC

GAEC boss honoured at International Conference on political/civil strife in Africa

The Director-General of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Benjamin J.B. Nyarko has been honored at the International Conference on Political/Civil Strife in Africa held at the Fiesta Royal Hotel, Accra.

The award, conferred on him by the West Africa International Press Limited, was in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of peace and security in the nuclear industry which has contributed to the socio-economic development of Ghana.

The West African International Press, publishers of the West African International Magazine is concerned with bringing to the forefront issues of corruption, hunger, poverty, and politics among member countries that are detrimental to development.

Additionally, they also collaborate with organizations, ministries, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to organize conferences, trade missions, and award programs in honor of deserving Africans, who have contributed to the promotion of peace and development in their chosen professions.

In his remarks, the chairman for the occasion, Noble Justice Isaac Duose, a retired Appeals Court Judge, who is also the chairman of the governing council of Wisconsin International University College noted that peace and security are essential elements for the development of every nation.

“Where a people are so tied unshakably to the rightness of their tribe or religion, conflict, strife is bound to arise” he stated.

Noble Justice Duose indicated the inter-tribal strife is bound to be abundant and serious where people are not prepared to eschew their pride and intolerance of other peoples’ tribes.

“To be honest, unless our leaders are honest and humble enough to admit and to take advantage of our variety, we will continue to be in strife,” he added.

The award ceremony brought together professionals from various government agencies and industries including education, health, manufacturing, and business for excellence and contribution to peace and development.

By: CPRC/CCD

Nyonko Do Farmers Association gets technical assistance from GAEC

The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has decided to offer technical support to a farm-based organization, Nyonko Do Farmers Association (NDFA), in the area of Agriculture and Agribusiness.

The decision was the outcome of a meeting between GAEC and NDFA on Wednesday, 27th January 2021.

Last year, NDFA approached the Commission to seek collaboration, support, and expertise to help boost the Association’s agric-related businesses, in line with Government’s 1D1F project.

 

A representative of the Association, Madam Cynthia Mensa made a strong case for the collaboration between GAEC, financial institutions, and farm-based groups within the country, adding that it would help create and sustain a viable value chain for the agricultural sector in its bid to actualize the aims of the 1D1F.

“GAEC is a credible institution, the reason we are here today seeking opportunities in terms of technical assistance from the scientists, funding and business plans/models”, she indicated.

 

“In spite of the farmer’s ability to produce in tons, they face a number of challenges, including, access to funds, technical know-how, and post-harvest losses”, she added.

The Acting Director of Commercialization and Communication Directorate (CCD), Mrs. Sheila Frimpong, in a brief remark, said since the first meeting last year, a lot of paperwork on collaboration between the two entities had been done.

“A memorandum of understanding has been drafted and forwarded to the Office of Legal Affairs of GAEC for their consideration and approval”, she added.

 

The Director of Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural Research Institute (BNARI) of GAEC, Dr. Micheal Osae, also enumerated the various areas of assistance the Institute would offer the Association.

This he said includes soil testing, compost production, and irrigation systems. He added that post-harvest management services with a solar dryer and Gamma irradiation technology were available to address post-harvest losses.

 

A representative from the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) of GAEC, Mr. Patrick Lamptey, also noted that as part of the collaboration, drone technology, and satellite imaging would be used for weather forecasting and monitoring of irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticide application.

Meanwhile, the GAEC team would arrange and take a tour of the farms and projects being undertaken by NDFA at their base in Kasoa in the Central Region. This visit would allow the team to familiarize themselves with the issues raised by the farmers firsthand. The visit to the project site would inform the next line of action.

Ghanaian Nuclear Scientist Elected Member of IPRA Executive Council

Dr. Joseph Amoako Deputy Director, Radiation Protection Institute
Dr. Joseph Amoako
Deputy Director, Radiation Protection Institute

The International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) has elected Dr. Joseph Amoako as a member of its Executive Council for the 2021-2024 tenure.

Dr. Amoako was elected to the Council following the announcement of three vacant positions which were keenly contested by candidates from Ghana, Australia, the United Kingdom, and South Korea, among others.

He is the first African to be elected to the Executive Council, the highest decision-making body of the Association.

Dr. Amoako is the Deputy Director of the Radiation Protection Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, and also the Vice President of the Ghana Association for Radiation Protection. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences of the University of Ghana.

He spearheaded groundbreaking research in Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission. This has helped in the monitoring of Mobile Phone Base Stations in Ghana, assessment of Microwave devices, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines, among others. Dr. Amoako was an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fellow at the Greek Atomic Energy Commission in Occupation Radiation Protection.

IRPA is the international association of radiation protection professionals with 53 associate societies in 68 countries.

IPRA promotes high professional competence, radiation protection culture, and practice by providing benchmarks of good practice and encouraging the application of the highest standards of professional conduct, skills, and knowledge for the benefit of individuals and society.

By CPRC/CCD

Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Welcomes Its 9TH Batch of Students for their Post-Graduate Education Course in Radiation Protection

The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission on Monday, 2nd November, welcomed the 9th batch of students to undertake an IAEA Regional post-graduate education course in Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources held in the conference room of Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS)

The five-month course to be undertaken by SNAS, University of Ghana is designed to educate its participants to efficiently add to the competent workforce of the nuclear industry.

In his address, the Chairperson for the occasion, Prof Cyril Schandorf admonished the participants to remain humble and cooperative throughout the duration of the course. “I employ the participants to put on the clock of humility, a learning and cooperative attitude throughout the course” he stated.

He further said that the knowledge the participants will acquire through the course will be a stepping stone to other carrier pathways that will include being the radiation protection officer for authorized facilities in the various countries.

Additionally, Prof. Schandorf stated that it is his expectation that the Planning Committee of the Post-Graduate Education course (PGEC) will assist in creating a network for knowledge sharing among professionals in the field of radiation protection.

Prof Augustine Faanu, the Course Coordinator, delivered a message from Edwerd Mickel, the IAEA Technical Officer on behalf of Prof Yaw Serfor-Armah, the Course Director.

He congratulated the participants on their admission for the course and said that the participants should be proud for being selected out of the numerous applications received by the IAEA. “The PGEC fellows should be aware that they were nominated as a result of a thorough process. Like in previous years, we evaluated approximately 230 applicants and based on established criteria, you were selected” he added

He encouraged them to accord the highest interest and dedication to the course so that they can build their competence and contribute effectively to the development nuclear industry.

The Director General of GAEC, Prof B.J.B. Nyarko in his address advised the students to observe all the COVID-19 protocols. He stated that a lot of factors had to be satisfied before the green light was given to undertake this training course

Prof Nyarko further advised the students to use the laid down channels to register all their grievances. “Make sure you talk to your Course Coordinators if you have any challenge, otherwise talk to the Course Director. But if the problem still persists, you can bring it to me for redress” he stated.

He officially welcomed them and wished them well in their studies.

By: Corporate Affairs, GAEC