Ghana has signed a 7.84 million Euros mixed credit facility agreement with the Nordea Bank of Denmark for the establishment of an Environmental Monitoring Laboratory at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT).
The Environmental Monitoring Laboratory is to promote teaching and research for the UMaT and the establishment of an Environmental and Safety Engineering Department.
The project will be funded through a grant of 2.9 million Euros from DANIDA as well as the 7.84 million Euros loan facility from the Nordea Bank.
Deputy Finance Minister, Mrs Mona Quartey, signed on behalf of Ghana while Mr Henrik Brink, the Vice-President of Nordea Bank, signed for the company.
Mrs Quartey said the agreement marked another milestone in the process that would lead to a significant improvement in the tertiary education sector, especially in the area of science and technology.
She said the project would help train the manpower needs of applied research and equip trainees to address the environmental challenges faced in the degraded mining enclaves and forest reserves.
Mrs Quartey said the project would create a platform for the establishment of an Environmental and Safety Engineering Department at UMaT thereby enhancing the capacity of the university to enrol more students and produce graduates well vested in environmental issues.
“The project will create a balancing mechanism between the extent of dependence of the national economy on mining operations and the prevention of the potential adverse effects of activities of operators in the industry on the economy,” she said.
Mrs Quartey said the project would also help to reduce the level of cyanide holdings, minimise the quantum of mining waste as well as minimise the pollution of rivers through the reduction of cyanide spillages.
She expressed the hope that mining companies would take advantage of the opportunities the project would provide in making available laboratory services that address mines-related environmental consideration.
Tove Degnbol, the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, said the support was highly relevant in the situation Ghana found itself as mining was a major industry in the country.
Professor Jerry Kuma, the Vice Chancellor of UMaT, said the environmental lab was key to the university’s quest to be relevant in the mining and business sectors.
He said with the project UMaT would be well positioned to minimise the effects of mining on the communities.