Wednesday, June 29, 2016

CSIR worried over public accusation of causing fear and panic

By Edmund Smith-Asante
Mr Abe Incoom, CSIR Council Chairman,

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has made public the dilemma it often faces after it releases its scientific research findings to the public.

According to the council, it was accused of causing fear and panic when it released its scientific research findings to the public and pointed out that if it did not release the findings too, it would be going against the interest of the people by keeping vital information on its shelves.

The Director-General of the CSIR, Dr Victor Kwame Agyeman, described the development as strange and wondered how people could be “afraid of fear and panic” but not the future consequences on their health.

He made the declaration in his keynote address delivered at the launch of the 20th anniversary of the Water Research Institute (WRI).

He said the penchant to accuse the CSIR for whatever decision it took regarding its research finding was a source of worry for the scientists and the institute.

Dr Agyeman, who was speaking on the theme for the occasion: “Sustainable water resources management in Ghana”, therefore, urged fellow scientists to find better ways of releasing information and communicating their research findings to the public.

He also urged industry to collaborate with research scientists, so that they could make use of scientific findings.

Repositioning of WRI
He challenged the WRI to re-position itself by strengthening its structures and providing them with adequate resources in order to overcome challenges relating to performance and achievements.

Redefine objectives
Dr Agyeman further urged the WRI to redefine its objectives for the years ahead and be guided by its general objectives such as enhancing sustainable development, utilising and managing water resources in Ghana and improving water quality management and pollution control in the country.

He also tasked the institute to intensify public health management, increase and sustain aquaculture, improve the capacity development of staff to ensure sustainable management of the institute and endeavour to improve on the institute’s income generating activities  by 30 per cent.

Water networks
For his part, the Director of the WRI, Dr Joseph A. Ampofo, expressed sadness that water continued to be undervalued and badly managed in the country, among other concerns.

He, therefore, called for the formation of water networks that would govern water basins in the country and ensure that water quality was improved.

“Until we reach this vision, we will continue to see a decline in the quality of Ghana’s rivers, lakes and shorelines due to the growth of pathogens and toxic algae blooms that impact negatively on human and animal health,” he said.

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This story was first published by the Daily Graphic on June 23, 2016

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