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Effect of reducing Keta Lagoon water level on livelihoods in Anlo, South Tongu, Ada East

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The Anyanui community in the Anlo Constituency is connected to Ada Foah in the Ada East Constituency by an important waterway in the Lower Volta Estuary which is used by boats for trade, ecotourism and fishing. 

The Ministry of Roads and Highways also operates a ferry that runs between Ada Foah and Anyanui every Wednesday which transports traders and goods to villages on its way. 

This waterway is also the route plied by smaller boats from the South Tongu Constituency for fishing, ecotourism and trade among communities along the waterway. 

Unfortunately, this important waterway has been blocked by a large pile of sandbar since June, 2021 making it impossible for boats and the ferry to ply between Ada Foah and Anyanui.

All trading activities and transport to major markets have stopped in the area, with a resultant adverse effect on the livelihoods of the people as well as declining incomes and welfare of the communities along this waterway.

Residents of Anyanui, Ada Foah, Havi, Gamenu and other fishing communities in the Lower Volta estuary are presently unable to trade with each other using the Ministry of Roads and Highways ferry and other boats.

This is because the sea has destroyed the Fuveme community and pushed the eroded sand material into the main waterway to form a large sandbar separating the Anyanui end of the waterway from the Ada Foah. 

It is now impossible for the ferry and other boats to transport traders and goods from Ada to Anyanui.

The once-bustling Anyanui market is now a pale shadow of its self with revenue to the District Assembly from market tolls declining significantly.

South Tongu communities such as, Havi and Gamenu whose only connection to the rest of Ghana is via this waterway, cannot also travel by boat to Ada Foah.  

The sandbar, the residents have told JoyNews, needs to be removed or dredged as early as possible. They stated that a new channel can also be cut through an adjoining mangrove to enable boats and the ferry to go straight from Anyanui to Ada instead of using the sea which is very dangerous.

Effect of reducing Keta Lagoon water level on livelihoods in Anlo, South Tongu, Ada East

JoyNews called on a member of the newly formed Keta Lagoon Development Association (KLADA) who is also the past Member of Parliament for Anlo, Clemence Kofi Humado to find out the effect of sea erosion at Fuveme community on the drying up of the lagoon and loss of livelihoods in the Keta Lagoon and the Volta Estuary.   

Mr Clemence Kofi Humado explained that the Keta Lagoon complex is connected to the Volta Estuary and the sea through the Anyanui part of the estuary waterway.

This, he said, makes the lagoon water level respond to the daily and seasonal tidal water movements of the sea.

“Anytime the sea level is high, it causes large volumes of water to push into the lagoon and similarly when the sea level is at low tide, some water runs out of the lagoon back into the sea,” Mr Humado said 

However because of the sandbar, Mr Humado noted not much water is now pushed into the lagoon through Anyanui anymore.

Mr Humado said the connection of the lagoon to the sea at Fuveme is too narrow and shallow to be capable of pushing large volumes of seawater into the lagoon at high tide.

Effect of reducing Keta Lagoon water level on livelihoods in Anlo, South Tongu, Ada East

This, he said has resulted in a general drying up of the lagoon which is visible in communities such as Genui, Atito, Alakple, Kodzi, Shime, Atiavi, Sasieme, Asadame, Keta and Anyako.

Fish species that used to come from the sea through the estuary into the lagoon have also declined in number. “This has resulted in low fisheries productivity of the lagoon with large areas of the lagoon drying up,” he said 

Some residents, local fishermen, traders and boat operators who have been speaking with JoyNews lamented on how difficult it is for them to earn a living through fishing and the sale of firewood.

According to the residents, mostly fisherfolks, life has been difficult for them due to, especially the unavailability of the ferry and boats to transport traders and goods to the Anyanui market and the reoccurrence of tidal waves.

“We are suffering and are unable to fish and trade as we used to in the past because of these issues” a Fisherman lamented 

They therefore appealed to the government to come to their aid as soon as possible. 

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