2021 ASLO Global Outreach Initiative

The Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences held a week-long outreach programme at Ampenyi M/A Basic School from 18th to 22nd October, 2021. The outreach programme dubbed “Environmental Education towards the Conservation of Biodiversity in the Brenu Lagoon, Ghana” was funded by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) under their 2021 Global Outreach Initiative.

 

The programme led by Dr. Margaret Fafa Awushie Akwetey, included five teachers and 50 pupils from the Junior High School (JHS) 2 class. The programme targeted children in order to build a generation of environmentally conscious individuals and responsible adults who will care for their environment. Prof. Joseph Aggrey-Fynn, the Head of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, in his speech at the opening ceremony, explained that the Department has long studied the Brenu Lagoon, in aspects of fish, heavy metals, PAHs and general water quality. The Department has however realised that the state of the lagoon is deteriorating due to activities such as sand winning, indiscriminate dumping of refuse, etc. It is in this light that the Department is collaborating with ASLO to educate a younger generation that will ultimately protect the lagoon. In addition, this approach will encourage and strengthen healthy habits at a young age towards the general well-being of the environment.

 

Using practical, field and laboratory sessions, the pupils were introduced to a variety of life forms namely plankton, benthos and nekton in water bodies. The importance of aquatic biodiversity, and the impacts of human activities on the environment were also emphasized. Practical sessions included activities such as sampling of benthic macroinvertebrates, water quality analyses and dissection of fish. The pupils were also given the opportunity to use microscopes to examine some organisms sampled. The programme was supported by staff and postgraduate students of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and staff of the Centre of Coastal Management.

 

The Headmaster of the Ampenyi M/A Basic School, Mr. Solomon Kweku Bondzie, was thankful to the Department and the University of Cape Coast for the project. He praised the project for the rare learning opportunity offered his school and encouraged the team to continue imparting this information to other comm