Ghana
Updated 24 June 2015

Chapter Leader: Dr. Emmanuel Arhin, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University for Development Studies, Navrongo Campus, P.O. Box 24, Navrongo, UER, Ghana
E-mail: lordarhin@gmail.com

Chapter Secretary: Mr. Emmanuel O. Oyelude, Department of Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University for Development Studies, Navrongo Campus, P.O. Box 24, Navrongo, UER, Ghana
E-mail: emmanola@gmail.com; Emmanuel.oyelude@uds.edu.gh

Tel: +233 2466 81133
Tel: +233 2614 00399
Tel: +233 2762 26873

The IMGA Local Chapter in Ghana was established in 2008.


2015

6-month report from Local Chapter Leader Dr Emmanuel Arhin:

Ghana Chapter Overview and Way Forward

The Chapter has not been able to showcase the Association’s activities nationwide but has the intention to do so. As part of the Association’s plans we wish to make the Association known at least in the Public and Private Universities in the country. Our only problem is funding to do the outreach service. We have the IMGA flyer and with some local research some individual IMGA members have carried out we will be able to get more to join or follow IMGA activities. Impact of geological processes on health is least spoken about in Ghana. Awareness is very much needed particularly in Ghana. Geological and environmental processes coupled with the climate changes are affecting trace elements distributions and concentrations. Background values for potentially toxic elements (PTEs) and essential elements (EE) in specific rock types are unknown. Enrichment factors (EF) are calculated using average continental crustal values that appear too simplified and do not address specifically the background value at a place. Ghana Chapter intend to undertake a research to establish background values for some trace elements that are of environmental concerns typically in mine, agricultural, residential and urban areas. The Chapter will appreciate if anyone in the IMGA-International community can provide us with some certified reference samples to insert in the batch of samples to aid in QA/QC analysis.

Current Membership Status

There is no change in membership to date. The outreach program is essential for the Ghana Chapter to increase non-students and students memberships. At the moment our membership stands at 14. It has not increase since 2007. The membership breakdown is:

  • Membership at University for Development Studies currently is 7 full members and 5 student members.
  • Currently have two members in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science. The plan is to reach out for membership drive using a current research done by myself but a medical geology research.

Medical Geology Research

Trace element geochemistry research at Datoko-Shega area announced in the last quarter research has been published by Environmental Geochemistry and Health (EGAH) journal. The abstract is included in this report. The full report can be obtained using the link below:

Trace elements distributions at Datoko-Shega artisanal mining site, northern Ghana
Emmanuel Arhin[1], Apea Ohene Boansi[1] and Zango M. S.[1]
[1] University for Development Studies, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, P. O. Box 24, Navrongo, Ghana
Corresponding author: lordarhin@gmail.com

Abstract

Environmental geochemistry classifies elements into essential, non-essential and toxic elements in relationship to human health. To assess the environmental impact of mining at Datoko-Shega area the distributions and concentrations of trace elements in stream sediments and soil samples were carried out. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analytical technique was used to measure the major and trace element concentrations in sediments and modified fire assay absorption spectrometry (FAAS) in soils. The results showed general depletion of major elements except titanium oxide (TiO2) compared to the average crustal concentrations. The retention of TiO2 at the near surface environment probably was due to the intense tropical weathering accompanied by removal of fine sediments and soil fractions during the harmattan season by the dry northeast trade winds and sheet wash deposits formed after flash floods. The results also showed extreme contamination of selenium (Se), cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg), plus strong contaminations of arsenic (As) and chromium (Cr) in addition to moderate contamination of lead (Pb) in the trace element samples relative to crustal averages in the upper continental crust. However Hg, Pb and Cd concentrations tend to be high around the artisanal workings. It was recognized from the analysis of the results that the artisanal mining activity harnessed and introduces some potentially toxic elements such as Hg, Cd, and Pb mostly in the artisan mine sites. But the interpretation of the trace element data thus invalidates the elevation of As concentrations to be from the mine operations. It consequently noticed As values in the mine-impacted areas to be similar or sometimes lower than As values in areas outside the mine sites from the stream sediment results.

Keywords: Mining, elevated concentrations, exposure, epidemiology, depletion, Health
WebLink: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10653-015-9705-0 

2014

Dr. Arhin was reinstated as Local Chapter Leader after a study period in the UK. 

Reactivating the Chapter: Membership Drive

The Chapter intends to focus on getting new members. This will include students and full members.  

Current Member Status

1.  Membership at University for Development Studies currently is 7 full members and 5 student members.

2. Currently have two members in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science. The plan is to reach out for membership drive using current research done by myself and medical geology research.

3. I have talks with some people at the Ghana Geological Survey Department, Geochemistry unit of which showed interest to become members but we need to do public outreach. To make the chapter more nationalistic an outreach program is necessary. To publicize some of our works and to make IMGA constitution open to all we will have to showcase some activities carried out by the Chapter and its benefits to man. The Ghana Chapter is happy to let you know some work undertaken by some individual Medical Geology members, which they expect the Chapter to do some follow up research on.

Current Ongoing Medical Geology Research 

Toxic and essential element concentration from stream sediment and soil geochemistry at an artisanal mining site at Datoko-Shega area, Upper East, Ghana and human health implications.

2012

The Chapter is active although going through some transition period. The Chapter has fourteen (14) members who have paid their dues up till end 2013. A number of prospective members have been identified while some have pledged their support for the Association. Four members are currently outside Ghana pursuing doctorate degrees and another four are studying for doctorate degrees within the country. One member is on sabbatical leave in South Africa, while one has retired from active service.

The Chapter Secretary is conducting research on the effectiveness of using pulverised teak leaf litter to remove fluoride ions from aqueous solution. This is an aspect of his doctorate research involving the use of pulverised teak leaf litter to treat polluted water. Excess fluoride, arsenic and manganese ions are found in underground water sources in different parts of Ghana. The Chapter therefore plans to conduct research on the use of low-cost locally available materials to adsorb fluoride, arsenic and manganese ions from underground water sources. This research has not commenced due to lack of adequate resources.

2011

Dr. Arhin is currently studying as a Post Doc in the UK. Therefore, although he is still the Leader of this Chapter he is currently not the active head. This responsibility has passed to the Dr. Richard Glover and the Chapter Secretary Mr. Emmanuel Oyelude. The chapter has 15 members, mainly environmental scientists (Earth Scientists/Geologists, Chemists/Biochemists, Biologists/Microbiologists). The Chapter conducted a pilot study on the quality of underground water of some communities in the catchment area of the university campus. Levels of arsenic greater than the maximum permissible limit for drinking water were observed, especially during the dry season.