Communicating Ocean state alerts through a TV show for Slum Dwellers: the way of the G&A funded UoG led Consortium

Weather forecasts have no shelf life and must be disseminated rapidly to the public; hence the enhancement of the dissemination of the ocean state alerts to fishermen through a TV show comes in handy. 

Image shown when the Ocean State is “Dangerous” 

GHOne TV’s Bukom Banku Live” show, with the aim of tackling societal challenges especially in Ghana’s slums and inner cities where most of the fisherfolk reside, disseminates weekly the ocean state alerts to the fishermen. 

The fishermen largely rely on these forecasts as it forms an integral part of their vocation and helps keep them safe. Though in Ghana, the ocean state and marine weather reports can be accessed in various ways i.e. through the USSD code (*920*88#), SMS alerts to various leaders at landing beaches, the Ghana Meteorological Agency daily bulletin, or the GMES-UG App; getting the message to fishing slum dwellers is paramount.

Image shown when the Ocean State is “Rough” 

The alerts are produced by the University of Ghana’s consortium of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, and Africa (GMES, and Africa) program, which includes the Ghana Meteorological Agency. 

GHOne TV’s BUKOM BANKU LIVE show, which has taken the nation by storm currently, rakes in more than twenty thousand viewers on Facebook live and more than sixty thousand views on YouTube. 

Hosted by the affable Ghanaian boxer and amateur comedian, Braimah Kamoko also known as Bukom Banku, the show tackles various societal issues affecting slum dwellers and residents in the inner cities, of which fishermen form a great number. 

Braimah Kamoko hosting the ‘Bukom Banku Live’ show on GhOne TV 

The Show has a segment where the host informs viewers on weather conditions, meant to help coastal communities on the state of the ocean before embarking on fishing activities. Aside from the fact that he hails from a fishing community, which makes him relatable to his target audience, he is able to communicate the ocean state to them in a practical and entertaining manner. 

The ocean state alerts are accompanied by graphics developed by GHOne TV. The messages come in three folds; calm, rough and dangerous. The target audience is advised to be cautious when the state is rough and to reconsider suspending fishing at sea when it will be dangerous to avoid the unforeseen at sea.

Image shown when the Ocean State is “Calm” 

The Communications, Monitoring and Evaluation officer of the Project at the University of Ghana, Dogbeda Yao Azumah says since the commencement of the 'Bukom Banku Live' Show in June 2020 on GhOne TV, the focal persons at Ghana Meteorological Agency and the Fisheries Commission have received calls across the coastal communities requesting for information, confirmation or flags to help disseminate the information. 

“This for us is great news. Not only are we grateful to GHOne TV, we also hope other networks emulate this to help continue saves lives at sea”, he added. 

GMES focal point at the Fisheries Commission, given out Ocean state flags to artisanal fishermen from the Central Region, amidst COVID 19 pandemic, 1st July 2020 

"GMES, and Africa" is an Earth Observation programme of the African Union jointly established with the European Union, and designed to strengthen capacities in Africa for the optimal exploitation and utilization of Earth Observation systems, data and technologies towards the continent’s sustainable development.  

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