By Maxwell Nkansah
A professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the United States of America Professor Emmanuel Frimpong has said that Ghana is gradually moving into water scarcity because of the indiscipline of human activities.
He said though the nation used to have enough water bodies, the deterioration of water resources these days due to recklessness by some people was seriously affecting water quality and aquaculture.
“There can’t be food security without water security,” Prof. Frimpong stated, adding that, “the average Ghanaian consumes between 25 and 30 kilograms of fish in a year, which has caused a high demand for fish in the country while there are numerous water resources for fish production.”
Prof. Frimpong was speaking on the topic “The Path to Food Security” at a symposium on the theme “Building Food Security on Homegrown Food and Renewable Energy Technologies: The Role of Fisheries and Water Resources” organized by the Department of Fisheries and Water Resources, University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani.
The one-day symposium aimed at provoking discussion on the sustainability of quality water resources as a key component through which food security can be achieved for the attainment of Goal Two of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It was attended by students of the university, local fish farmers’ association representatives, agricultural and water resources experts, and the Sunyani Office staff of the Fisheries Commission.
Prof. Frimpong, therefore, called for governments, academia, technocrats, and law enforcement agencies to work together to protect and sustain clean water resources for agriculture and aquaculture enhancement.
According to him, Ghana was not doing well in utilizing its resources in producing what the nation consumed, hence the need to have a sustainable method of production to meet the demand of the population and reduce the cost of importation of food items, particularly fish.
Dr. Seyramsarah Setufe, the acting Head of the Department of Fisheries and Water Resources, UENR, said the event was to discuss the crucial need for Ghana to ensure the protection and sustainability of water resources and the use of renewable energy technologies to improve food production.
She noted Ghana had the potential to produce all it could consume, saying policy formulators must therefore direct their discussions and activities towards the path to greatly improve “homegrown” food for food security and reduce importation.
Dr. Anthony Duah, a research scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), said the government had put in a lot of measures and policies to ensure food security, but the attitude of the citizenry was a challenge.
He, therefore, emphasized the need for environmental best practices and proper waste and water management systems for enough quality water to produce the needed amount of food in the country.