Business News of Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Management of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) says it is poised to rehabilitate all the lighthouses in the country to bring them back to their significant historic relevance.
Lighthouses are towers, buildings, or other type of structures designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and used as a navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways. Lighthouses mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous, safe entries to harbors, and can also assist in aerial navigation.
Once widely used, the number of operational lighthouses in Ghana has declined due to the expense of maintenance and use of electronic navigational systems by modern vessels.
There are seven lighthouses in Ghana all built by Ghana’s colonial masters notably the Dutch and British several years ago. The lighthouses are located in both the Eastern and Western sides of Ghana.
Those in the Western Region are located in Sekondi Takoradi Cape 3 Point and Axim. Those in the Eastern Part of Ghana are located in Woe in the Volta Region, James Town and Tema Newtown all the Greater Accra Region.
The State Enterprise mandated to protect lighthouses in Ghana is the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
In view of this, Management of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has assured to rehabilitate all the lighthouses in the country to restore their historical and geo-economic relevance.
So far the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has spent some $1million in refurbishing all the 7 lighthouses in the Country.
A team of experts from the Port Authority have therefore visited the lighthouses to abreast themselves with the current state as well as recommend ways for their further rehabilitation.
The Team visited the Woe light house in the Volta Region where the engineers were busily rehabilitating the lighthouse there.
Already, all lighthouses located in the Western Part of the Country have been rehabilitated.
The Project Engineer at the Port Authority, Engineer Kingsford Otoo who led the team, assured that GPHA will continue to maintain the lighthouses across the country to ensure they do not lose their historical, cultural and geo economic values.
“At some point in time last year we decided to visit the lighthouses and find the state of the lighthouses. We found out that most of them are in a dilapidated state so with the approval of management, we decided to rehabilitate all of them,” he said adding that work is 70percent complete.
He said the all the 7 beacons of the lighthouses, which are the light at the top which rotates in order to signal vessels, would be changed as part of the rehabilitation of the lighthouses.
Engineer Kingsford Nii Otto revealed that aside the main lighthouses that are managed by the Port Authority, the Authority also manages most of the surroundings they are located.
“The structures here all belong to Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and we intend to renovate all of them so that we give a phase lift to the communities,” he said.
He added that most of the sites are going to be re-built as Fish landing sites.
“I am currently on a committee which is trying to build 11 fishing harbours along the coast of Ghana. One of the sites for the 11 fishing harbours is James Town. As soon as the funds arrive we will build a fishing harbor with walls and we will provide lights for the fishermen,” he stated.
The Project Engineer, also averred that the lighthouses apart from being used by fishermen during their fishing expeditions also serve as a tourist attraction site for fishermen.
“A lot of tourists from Europe come and climb it, relax and take photographs. Even students also come here to study,” he said.