Ghana – Mapping Project

the details…
Key pollutant
Lead, mercury, etc.
Date started
June 2014
Funders
World Bank, European Commission
Share

This project seeks to comprehensively map out toxic sites within 10 districts in Ghana. Trained investigators will then cover these districts street by street with a visible site identification protocol that separates possible site identifiers into a primary and secondary category. Primary identifiers, such as confirmed activity and tailings, are weighted higher than secondary identifiers such as visibly stressed vegetation and discolored water because they provide more concrete evidence of a toxic site. If a site reaches a predetermined minimum number of points on our rubric scale, the site will be deemed a likely contaminated site. XRF soil sampling will then be utilized to confirm toxic site status. Our investigators will also note additional information about exposure pathways and population affected.The data will allow us to extrapolate and estimate the number of toxic sites in Ghana, and build a better understanding of the different pollutants involved at these contaminated sites.  This will lay the groundwork for future cleanup.

The 10 districts in Ghana were randomly selected to be reviewed by investigators:

  • Yendi
  • Dangme West
  • Juabeso
  • Tema Metro
  • Afram Plains South
  • Abura/Asebu/Kwamankese
  • Offinso
  • Amansie West
  • Ho
  • Tano South
There are currently 217 toxic sites in Pure Earth’s Toxic Sites Identification Program (TSIP) database. This Ghana mapping project will add to our understanding of the worldwide pollution profile, allowing us to see how many sites we are actually capturing with TSIP, and how many we are missing. It will give us a better understanding of the number of toxic sites, the types of pollutants involved , and numbers of people affected in countries around the world. This project is in the early phases of data collection. However it has already had some success. By utilizing this simplified protocol, investigators have already found several previously unknown toxic sites in Ghana.