In Western Africa, the GMES and Africa consortium led by UoG goes through GMS' USSD code to inform fishermen on ocean conditions
Staff of the regional marine center of the University of Ghana have embarked on a field trip to several key coastal sites and communities in Ghana (Half Assini, Elmina, Edina, Tema, Anomabu, Keta and, Osu) covering the four coastal regions of Ghana over a coastal line of about 540 kms.
The team together with staff from the Ghana Meteorological Agency and The Fisheries Commission of Ghana introduced fishermen from these areas to the new ways of accessing information on ocean weather conditions through a mobile application and ussd code
A fisherman reported: "Introducing this system has been very helpful. Now we know when to go fishing and when not to. It helps us avoid disaster at sea"
Indeed, with the new ussd code, fishermen can now simply dial *920*88# and access information on the three-day forecast of the ocean condition. This code works on all networks in Ghana and -above all - is free to access!
In Axim, the efficient town in the Western region of Ghana, the fishermen suggested using the voice notes as an additional means of communicating the ocean state. "An interesting suggestion" replied the Prof. George Wiafe, the leader of the G&A UoG led Project, "if sending the voice notes in various ghanaian dialects is possible".
Among the discussions there were plans to use it also to educate the fisherfolks on the advantage points to provide relevant information on the mobile gms ug app.
Currently, colour-coded flags are hosted on the shores of beaches to inform fisher folks of the ocean state's condition: green depicts calmness of the ocean, yellow shows the ocean is rough and red depicts danger.
The preliminary studies and development about the Process that was herewith presented to the fishermen started with the MESA Programme 2013-2017, a European Union Funded Programme. MESA achievements were then handed over in 2017 to AUC, the GMES and Africa Programme, tested and confronted to users needs, and perfectioned.
The GMES and Africa is a programme co financed by the African Union Commission and the European Commission.
More on the UoG led Project, https://gmes.ug.edu.gh/
More on the GMES and Africa Programme, http://gmes4africa.blogspot.com/
More about the GMES, and Africa, the grant scheme, http://gmes4africa.blogspot.com/p/the-grants.html
All pictures below are of the courtesy of UoG.