Ghanaian farmers can now rely on accurate weather predictions…
The installation of a multi-purpose satellite ground station at Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo regional capital, by the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) means Ghana joins eight others around the globe that receives improves atmospheric data.
The Ground Station at UENR which is estimated at around US$1.2 million, predicts accurate weather and climate conditions that would be of immense assistance to farmers since it will inform their decisions on rainfall and sunshine, while also benefiting aquaculture too.
Countries that benefit from this technology currently include Taiwan, Guam, Hawaii (US), Honduras, Brazil, Kuwait, Mauritius and Australia. The station, more appropriately referred to by its acronym COSMIC-2, means ‘Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate -2’ and is a joint partnership programme between the United States of America and the Taiwan National space Organisation.
Vice Chancellor of UENR, Professor Harrison Dapaah lauded the new constellation during the launch for its precision and real-time numerical weather prediction, but did not fail to enumerate some challenges that could impede the operation of the Centre like the absence of a good and fast internet access, standby generator and insufficient research funding.
We dare-say, these challenges could greatly affect the smooth operation of the Centre though we believe the university is in good stead to raise funds to purchase its own standby generator but the issue of internet access and lack of research funding needs to be tabled to the Ministry of Communications while funding remains a challenge that UENR must endeavor to explore, which we believe is not insurmountable since it can lobby for it by publicly stating the shortcomings.
We understand three more ground stations have been planned for 2018 and this would greatly enhance the capacity of the Centre and position it as the ‘eye of Africa’, in terms of delivering space-based solutions.
Increasingly, we are able to employ science to resolve our myriad problems and the Centre gives attestation to this fact. More accurate weather conditions will be available for our farmers, meteorologists and for research purposes.
It is also pleasing to note that we are among the privileged few to have such a facility and we believe it will also give our students at UENR the privilege of studying from the facility and generally improve on their studies with the facility.
We need to see more developments in the field of science and technology since it is these twin disciplines that determine how advanced a nation is.
Port service providers need to be held to account…
To forestall delays at the country’s ports, the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) is impressing on government to institute some form of service level agreements (SLAs) with the various service providers at the ports so that undue delays at the ports is avoided.
Oftentimes, service providers like GCNet have challenges with their systems and this can result in delays, that increases the cost of doing business at the ports, and consequently, Dr. Kofi Mbiah, CEO of the GSA, is urging the state to enforce SLAs, which come with punitive sanctions for lengthy delays would be a panacea to avoiding the high demurrage that importers and exporters have to pay the shipping lines for failing to release containers in Godspeed, after the free seven days allotted them.
Such huge sums of money are avoidable, if such fundamentals are corrected and it will also go a long way ease the congestion at the ports which invariably, increases the cost of doing business at the ports.
Strenuous efforts are being made both by the ports authorities and government to expand the country’s ports to ease the cost of doing business at our ports since they are responsible for majority of our revenue streams.
Expanding the ports will enable larger vessels enter our ports and the efficient clearance of goods and containers will enable the ports function optimally that is why the call for SLAs is in line to relieve the stress of importers and exporters should the systems of service providers fall. By signing onto these SLAs, they would be duty bound to find alternatives that would not put clients under undue stress.
We believe this is an area the Ministry of Trade and Industry can dialogue with the Shippers’ Authority to come to an amenable method of avoiding these high demurrage charges that makes the cost of doing business at the ports, costly.