CCM & DFAS Build Capacity of Journalists

A training programme on Climate Change Adaptation and Coastal Management has been held for some selected journalists on campus. The five-day training programme which was organised by the Centre for Coastal Management (CCM) in conjunction with the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences with support from the United States Agency for Development brought together 17 journalists. As part of the training programme, the facilitators and participants embarked on a field trip to Anlo Beach community near Shama in the Western region. Anlo Beach is gradually being eaten up by the effects of high sea level rise which has arisen due to climate change. The fishing community which is mainly inhabited by people from the Volta Region who have engaged in fishing activities since they settled there in 1903. However, Anlo Beach has known no peace for some time now because the sea has continuously battered and pummeled this eerie coastline into near oblivion. More than 200 houses were consumed by the fury of the sea during the tidal wave that hit the community in July this year. Close to a thousand inhabitants were also displaced and are still reeling under the effect of the devastation. “There were some dwellings, sheds all over this place now they are no longer here, clearly the sea has swept them away. Last time we were here in May and a lot of things have happened, we learned about the coastal flooding that has occurred not long ago and I think this is what is continuing”. Prof. John Blay of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of the School of Biological Sciences made this disclosure during a field trip to the area. According to Prof. Blay the sea is gradually coming and eventually taking over from the little sand bar that is left for the people. This means the ocean keeps on rising and gradually taking over the sand as well as pushing the community way from the shore. The situation at the settlement was not much devastated as it stands now but it is now losing ground very fast. For that matter Prof. Blay is calling for a fast approach that would ensure some form of adaptation for the people.“There was a big gap between the ocean and community and now we are close to the mountain, it was not like that clearly there is a big change in the community and this what require some form of adaptation, right now they are under threat not only from the ocean but the river and will have to soon relocate”, he admonished. The menacing effect of the sea has currently diverted the estuary of River Pra from Shama to Anlo Beach. An elder of Anlo Beach, Mr. Noble Dogbatey explained that there was a flood that took over the community that cut a channel at the beach and pushed the sand bar to the estuary at Shama. This created a new entry of the river at Anlo beach. This shift of the sand bar towards Shama has affected the Anlo beach considerable making it more prone to the effects of the sea whenever it rises. There are plans to relocate the community to a new location which is on higher grounds a few kilometres from the current location.