Call to Respond to Environmental Impact Assessment Report for 2x350MW coal fired power plant

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We’ve Lost a Gem

“We are robbed of decades of all the things we can’t imagine Akua would have accomplished with the remainder of her life”.

On the evening of Thursday June 8, 2017, the Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM) received a call that broke our hearts, of the tragic death of our friend, sister, partner and courageous environmentalist Akua Akyaa Nkrumah. Akua was not just an amazing woman, she was a brilliant researcher and by far, our best environmental technologist in the Environmental Movement in Ghana. While we waited for the family to officially announce this tragic loss, we couldn’t blink an eye that night, we were underwhelmingly stunned, shattered, sadder and half.

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Our only consolation at this time is the fact that Akua did an amazing work for our planet; she was a fiery change maker, relentless in her ideas and dedicated to the Green Ghanaian Initiative, a legacy and a vision that the Movement will do well to continue to support.

We do hope that all who were close and worked with her will find comfort while we continue to pray for the bereaved family for strength. We are robbed of decades of all the things we can’t imagine Akua would have accomplished with the remainder of her life. We’ve lost a gem, we’ve lost a fighter. We mourn! #RIPGreenAkua

Winners of Photography Competition

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Climate Change is WATER Change photography competition. Please find below the 3 winners and their entries:

First Prize: Doris Tagoe

Photo Description: Climate change affects water bodies. Water is indispensable to the survival of communities.

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2nd Prize: Kenny Buobu

Photo Description: Increased rate of evaporation from water bodies will result in their shrinking such as this one on the Dodi Pepeso road.

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3rd Prize: Emmanuel Nyantey

Photo Description: Climate change affects water. Rain harvesting is necessary in every home.

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#WHOISLYING

The Government of Ghana has advanced plans to build a 2x350MW coal fired power plant in Ekumfi Aboano. The implementing institution is the Volta River Authority (VRA).

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has confirmed the project as part of their achievements in their Party Manifesto for the 2016 national elections in Page 53.

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However, Mahama Ayariga, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTI) at a press briefing with the Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, at the US Embassy in Accra indicated that Ghana is not building a coal plant.

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#WHO IS LYING?

VRA Deserves Applause for Choosing Wind Power over Coal

Earlier this week, the environmental movement in Ghana was thrown into frenzy, following the announcement by the Volta River Authority (VRA) of its plans to construct a 150MW wind power plant to supplement power generation in the country. The project to be completed in two phases is said to be under the Renewable Development Programme of the organization, Ghana’s main electric power utility corporation.

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A wind farm in Kenya

The Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM) and other campaigners and supporters of renewable energy took to social media minutes after the media announcement to celebrate the impending and inevitable victory of clean energy over dirty energy— demonstrating the underlining relevance rather than a superficial reveling, considering the Ghana government, just a couple of months ago was advancing plans to build a 2x350MW coal fired plant in the Ekumfi Aboano with coal imports from South Africa.

The fuss here is about the VRA’s sharp U-turn on the subject of coal and now wind power. Before campaigners from GYEM took on the idea of importing pollution from coal into the country with coordinated street campaigns in support of renewable energy, notably solar and wind power, the VRA’s position on dirty energy was unequivocal: the country needed to diversify it’s existing energy portfolio with a cheaper, proven and reliable technology to help optimize hydro resources and they believed coal power was the way to go.

In a statement announcing the 150MW wind power project, their position seemed to have been altered incredibly in just a few months in favor of renewables. The Principal Engineer for Renewable and Integrated Resource Development of the VRA, Mr. Ebenezer Antwi declaring that “technology in renewable energy had matured and the cost declined over the years, making it cheaper, therefore the need to consider wind and solar energy to ease pressure on hydro power generation”.

The most relevant point here is that the government acknowledges that the cost of renewable energy is tumbling incredibly at an unprecedented pace globally that it makes the mantra that fossil fuels are cheaper pretty underwhelming and factually fraudulent.

A recent report by Bloomberg indicates that renewables are beating fossil fuels 2 to 1. It indicates that “while two years of crashing prices for oil, natural gas, and coal triggered dramatic downsizing in those industries, renewables have been thriving. Clean energy investment broke new records in 2015 and is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels”.

This is a fact not open for argument and one will wonder why it took the Government of Ghana that long to notice it. But this is why the VRA deserves applause. They have recognized that politics is about policy and policy is about the search of alternatives— outcomes that are better than others. Wind and solar will keep expanding at record rates and we have to plug ourselves into the opportunities they offer to transition into a low carbon economy and towards climate resilience as outlined by our National Climate Change Policy (NCCP).

It is now or never!

WaterAid Ghana Photography Competition

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Climate Change is Water Change – through your lens! (A WaterAid Ghana funded project run by GYEM)

Join us in highlighting the linkages between Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Climate Change!

Climate change is water change. More floods, droughts and rising sea levels all have implications for WASH services. We hope this competition inspires people throughout all the 10 regions of this country to use their photography skills to engage with the theme of ‘Climate Change is Water Change’.

Take a photograph that communicates the theme and send to Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM) email account: gyemgh@gmail.com. The competition is open to Ghanaian residents of all ages, and photographs must have been taken in Ghana. The competition will run from 2 September until 22 October 2016.

For more details, please read Rules of Entry and Terms and Conditions

Awards

The winning photographs will form part of WaterAid Ghana (WAG) photography portfolio. They will be published and promoted on the organizers website and social media accounts. The decision of the judges is final. No correspondence will be entered into. All winners will be notified by email on/by the weekend of 4th week in October.

1st Prize
The photographer with the picture judged by a panel of judges to be the best overall will receive a total prize worth GHC800.

2nd Prize
The photographer with the picture judged by a panel of judges to be the second best will receive a total prize worth GHC500

3rd Prize
The third prize is worth GHC300 

Social media

#WASH4Climate
Follow us on Twitter: @gyemgh / @WaterAid_Ghana
Like us on Facebook

Download and print the Competition poster to help spread the word.

Before entering the Competition, please ensure you have read, and agree to, the Terms and Conditions