Ghacem Ltd and its subsidiary West Africa Quarries Ltd (WAQL) for the fourth time has organized its international scientific and educational contest, the “Quarry Life Award.” The competition is aimed at boosting biodiversity at quarry sites and raise awareness about mining ecology.

Ghacem Ltd/WAQL Ghana invited students and researchers in Ghana to participate in the competition. The project which begun from April to September this year entailed a lot of work including site visits; engagement with key stakeholders such as communities around the quarry sites where WAQL operates, report writing and presentation.

The Six finalists included: Edmond Schandorf (Soil moisture retention and native pollinators preservation: The case of Mimosa Pudica); Evans Ewald Nkrumah (impact of mining on foraging Bats), Daniel Adusu (Promoting the use of biochar for mine soil amendment and biodiversity enhancement), Emily Esenam Bansah (The Statistical Determination of the Best Biological Geotextile for Biodiversity Promotion in Quarries), Kwame Konadu Yeboah (Socio-economic impact assessment of Talbotiellagentii spp. in five communities) and Abraham Addo-Ansah Allotey (Promoting community participation for sustainable eco-restoration).

QLA National Award:             

The QLA National award ceremony was on the theme: Promoting Biodiversity through Scientific research and community engagement. The event assembled scientists/researchers and industry players for Science and Technology. The special guest of honour was Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation. The National Jury led by Prof. Erasmus Owusu gave an overview of the 4th edition. He noted that it was challenging selecting the 6 project finalists from 43 proposals received.

Prof. Owusu disclosed the criteria for the evaluation of various projects considered projects with scientific rigour, innovative and creative, local stakeholder involvement, added value for mineral extraction, communicative and of practical recommendation.

Daniel Adusu, a 27-year-graduate of the University of Energy and Natural Resources with project title: ‘Promoting the use of biochar for mine soil amendment and biodiversity enhancement’ was adjudged overall best project in the research stream, while Kwame Konadu Yeboah, 24-year-graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with project title: ‘Socio-economic impact assessment of Talbotiellagentii in five communities’ also took overall best position for the community stream. They took home trophies and cash prize of GHc 27,525.00 (5000 euro) each.

Their closest competitors who occupied second positions were:  Emily Esenam Bansah (The Statistical Determination of the Best Biological Geotextile for Biodiversity Promotion in Quarries) and Abraham Addo-Ansah Allotey (Promoting community participation for sustainable eco-restoration) for the research stream and community stream respectively. They also took home trophies and cash prize of GHc 13,752.50 (2500 euro) each.

Raising knowledge of Biological value:

Mr. Morten Gade, Managing Director of Ghacem recalled the QLA was launched by HeidelbergCement to raise the knowledge of biological value on mining sites and contribute to further enhancing it as a commitment to managing biodiversity during and after extraction. Mr. Gade reaffirmed that as a company that gives true meaning to Government local content policy, Ghacem’s subsidiary (West African Quarry Ltd-WAQL) will continue to undertake its operations responsibly and ensure the company looks for innovative ways of restoring biodiversity at the Quarries. He commended the researchers for the show of professionalism and enthusiasm in their chosen projects and wished them well in the global competition.

Guest speaker, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng commended Ghacem/WAQL and HeidelbergCement for using the QLA to encourage researchers to achieve their potential. “Ghacem/WAQL by this initiative has given Ghanaian researchers the opportunity to affect the environment and by extension biodiversity positively.”

He further commended the QLA initiative observing it as timely at the time when human activities were destroying the environment.