Raising river water quality in Ghana

TBA alumnus Dufie Adu-Pakoh is the first and only woman to hold the post of Basin Officer for Ghana’s Water Resources Commission (WRC). On International Day of Action for Rivers, Dufie told us that her proudest achievement is getting schools and communities involved in water quality in the Pra Basin.

My most significant professional accomplishment is the introduction of the water quality testing with school children and communities in my basin using simple test kits.” She said.

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“The WRC is responsible for the overall management of Ghana’s water resources, and this program was adopted from the World Water Monitoring Day Challenge. Under my leadership, we collaborated with the International Water Association representative in Ghana and were given water quality test kits for free. My Secretariat trains the school children and some community members on how to test the quality of their local water bodies. We leave the kits with the schools and communities for them to continue testing the water over time. The Secretariat visits these schools and communities regularly to monitor their results.”

“Together with the Pra Basin Board, I have been educating communities in the basin for several years and collaborated with a lot of stakeholders in the water sector.” Said Dufie.

“The TBA course helped me to build strong ties with other like-minded TBA alumni and we have maintained strong collaborations. With these collaborations, we have successfully organised several school conservation outreach programs to create awareness on the need to protect our water resources.”

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Dufie is responsible for the implementation of the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) plan at basin level, and enhancing stakeholder participation. She manages the licensing and regulation of water users and monitoring compliance. “I also serve as the Secretary to the Basin Board and focal person for donor related projects in the basin.” She says. “My long term goal is to be a catalyst for positive behaviour change.”

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Dufie attended the TBA field course in 2008 in Amani, Tanzania and a specialist course on Scientific Communication in 2011. That same year, she won a Commonwealth Scholarship to study for a Masters in the UK in Natural Resources. Before taking up her current post with WRC, Dufie worked for the NGO Herp Ghana, the country’s first conservation organisation for amphibians and reptiles, founded by a fellow TBA alumnus in Ghana, Caleb Ofori.

TBA has been a stepping stone for my career, and I’m always grateful for the opportunity I had to be part of such a great conservation family.