Professor Mark Bailey, Executive Director of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), and Professor Alan Jenkins, the Deputy Director, visited government departments and potential partners in Accra, Ghana, last week.

This visit was planned for 2020 but delayed by the pandemic. The renewed invitation from the Ghanaians emphasised their interest in working together on the key issues of net zero, hydro-meteorological tools and pollution.

The UKCEH directors were joined in some meetings by Professor Kirk Semple, Lancaster University's Assistant Dean International. 

Prof Jenkins and Prof Harry Dixon, Group Leader of Water Resources Systems at UKCEH, also held discussions at the Ghana Meteorological Agency, Ghana Hydrological Services Department and Ghana Water Resources Commission about the World Meteorological Organization's Global Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS).

UKCEH is playing a leading role in the development of this initiative, which will help national hydrological services generate and disseminate up-to-date information about the status of water resources and how this may change over coming months. This will enable policymakers and different sectors to better adapt to the impacts of our changing climate on freshwater environments. 

While in Ghana, Prof Bailey had a productive meeting with the Honourable Dr Kweku Afriyie, Ghana's Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI). They identified some key areas for collaboration between UKCEH, MESTI and Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency, which Prof Bailey and Prof Jenkins also visited. 

During their stay, the UKCEH directors also held meetings with representatives from the British Council, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, the UN Development Programme, the Global Water Partnership and the International Water Management Institute.

The memorandum of understanding that UKCEH has with the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) was re-signed at the organisation’s headquarters in Accra.