Dr Ken Kinney, the Wing Coordinator of the Delta Alliance-Ghana, has said that the Volta delta lacks an integrated coastal management and integral land use planning as well as a zoning to guide sustainable development in the delta.

Dr Kinney said exchange of knowledge, capacity building and setting up peer-to-peer learning networks between delta regions of the world was a necessity to increase the resilience of deltas.

Delta Alliance is an international knowledge-driven organisation with the mission of improving the resilience of the world’s deltas. It has its headquarters in the Netherlands.

Dr Kinney was addressing an introductory workshop on Ghana-Netherlands Universities’ Volta Delta design plan, to introduce the dynamics of the Volta delta and planning towards its management.

The workshop sought to improve stakeholders understanding of the complex challenges of the Volta delta and develop guiding principles or key strategies for an integrated Volta Delta plan that balances needs of local communities and economic development.

Dr Kinney said separate stakeholder consultative meetings held earlier in February and June, this year, called for an integrated and comprehensive delta management plan for the Volta delta.

Out of that meeting, Dr Kinney said, the balance in urban, economic development and social welfare, within a secured ecosystem and integrated in the governance structure of the country, was envisioned.

He noted that, the plan when developed, would help structure a formal land use and zonal plan, as well as complement the ongoing discussion by the government to set up a coastal development authority.

He said the plan was also important, especially when the Volta Delta had now become the focus for several development activities, including oil exploration, commercial salt mining and agriculture, wind energy, port development and unplanned urbanisation.

Dr Kinney said: “To complement efforts toward sustainable development, in collaboration with some stakeholders, joint Ghanaian-Dutch students Volta Delta Design Project with series of activities was developed”.

The stakeholders included “Delta Alliance Secretariat, Delft Technical University in the Netherlands, the Delta Alliance Ghana Wing, University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Central University, and the College of Science and Technology of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research.”

Mr Ron Strikker, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, said Netherlands has numerous deltas but the country was able to control it and urged the participants to learn from each other.

He said the Netherlands is able to control its water levels, and that, his country was willing to help Ghana towards a proper planning of the Volta Delta.

A river delta is a landform that forms from deposition of sediment carried by a river as the flow leaves its mouth and enters slower-moving or standing water. This occurs where a river enters an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, or another river that cannot transport away the supplied sediment.

Ghana has two deltas, the Ada and the Volta deltas, Professor Kwesi Appianing of the University of Ghana noted, saying that, the Ghanaian deltas were facing challenges that needed to be addressed to safeguard the benefits that are attached to the deltas.

He said there was the need to manage the erosion that was taking place in the Volta delta, adding that, coastal erosion had damaged about 5,000 houses in Keta since 1960, which needed some planning to stop the trend.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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