Land management at Owabi catchment area: a case study

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Land management at catchment areas has been so poor that water, which is a life-sustaining resource and being impounded by the dams for the use of the public, has been adversely affected. Recently, there has been an increasing importance of catchment land management issues in the world in general. This is even more so in Ghana due to the shortage of water during the dry season. This problem is largely attributed to poor land management practices on the part of land and environmental quality control agencies, Ghana Water Company, traditional authorities, chiefs, etc. and the lack of enforcement of rules and regulation governing the acquisition and development of land dispositions and general indiscipline in the land market culminating in encroachment The effect of this has assumed an environmental and socio-economic dimension, impeded the development of and progress of the nation as a whole. The study reveals a significant poor land management practice, as well as identifying the causes and nature of this and its effect on the reservoir, the environment and the socio economic lives of the populace There has been a serious encroachment on the Owabi reserve, which has resulted in the contamination of the water from the dam, siltation, and reduction of water in the reservoir. The causes of this encroachment may be attributed to factors like inadequate compensation, undefined boundaries for the reserve, lack of logistics for the supervisory bodies, etc. These factors have been further compounded by an apparently unsuccessful legal action taken by the Ghana Water Company Limited on the encroachers. Recommendations to protect the catchment include the payment of adequate compensation and effective environmental education.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science degree in Environmental Resource Management, 2004