UNESCO, in collaboration with Challenge Company Limited, a Japan-based company into the development and manufacture of innovative products for security and disaster prevention, such as Earthquake Early Warning System, has provided support to Ghana’s preparedness towards earthquake and disaster risk reduction.
The founder and President of Challenge co. Mr. Kazuo Sasaki, joined a UNESCO Disaster Risk Reduction mission to Ghana in August 2019. The mission was to gather relevant information to enable the Organization provide support to Ghana in its quest to better prepare for any earthquake incidence. After a number of consultations with various institutions including the Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), some needs and challenges were identified. For instance, there was limited awareness and education on earthquakes and their associated risks by the public; Ghana’s seismic network is not extensive and most of the seismic monitoring equipment at eight stations installed in 2012 are currently not working.
During the final meetings with the relevant agencies, Mr. Sasaki announced his intention to donate equipment EQ guards to GGSA and NADMO. True to his words, Mr. Sasaki returned to Ghana in November this year to present the equipment to the GGSA and to guide GGSA technicians through their installation processes.
The EQ guards function both as a seismic monitoring network and as an earthquake early warning system.
Valued at USD24,000.00, the equipment has been installed at the NADMO office, the GGSA Seismological Observatory and the Head Office of the GGSA. One of the equipment was also installed at the office of the Weija-Gbawe Municipal Assembly as communities in this area fall within Ghana’s earthquake-prone zones. The Peduase Lodge and Ghana’s House of Parliament are the other places where GGSA and NADMO have proposed for the equipment to be installed.
By way of creating awareness on earthquakes, a forum was recently organized by GGSA and UNESCO in collaboration with the Gbawe-Weija Municipal Assembly. The Deputy Director-General of NADMO, Mr. Seji Saji Amedonu thanked UNESCO and Mr. Sasaki for supporting the Government of Ghana’s efforts on issues concerning earthquake. During the forum, about 80 staff and some community members of the Gbawe-Municipal Assembly were taken through evacuation drill exercises. The response was positive. The participants are now informed and aware of immediate measures they can take to protect themselves in case of an earthquake.