Geography

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Editors : George Owusu, Paul W.K. Yankson, Samuel Agyei-Mensah & Emmanuel M. Attua

Publisher : Woeli Publishing Services

Date of Publication : 2013

Place of Publication : Accra

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Now showing 1 - 18 of 18
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    Contaminant Hydrology: Concepts of Oil Pollution and Environmental Management
    (2013-12-09) Owusu, G.
    Oil contamination in soils, aquifer, and sea can pose threats to water resources and other ecosystems agents. In this chapter I will discuss physical and institutional characteristics of oil contaminants management in surface water, soil water, groundwater, and ocean. The contaminants include Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (LNAPL) and Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL). Oil contaminants that enter through soil surface may undergo through the following processes: Dissolution, Advection, Dispersion, Diffusion, Adsorption, Volatilization, and Biodegradation. As the oil pollutants travel through hydrological cycle there are various risks associated with exposure of it to environment. When it is exposed to human beings it is called Human toxicological risks; when it is exposed to ecology we call it Eco-toxicological risks, and finally when it spreads to join other water bodies we call it Spreading risks. These risks can be stopped through assessment and implementation of five-step environmental remediation framework that include Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), Threshold Value Assessment, Mapping and Modelling of Contaminants, Oil Contaminant Risk Assessment, and Choosing appropriate environmental Remediation techniques. This basic knowledge in contaminant hydrology can help manage environmental problems associated with large scale oil exploration and production in Ghana.
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    Understanding Land-Use and Land-Cover Change Impacts on Tropical Ecosystems
    (2013-12-09) Attua, E.M.
    Fundamentally, land cover change reflects human activities and geophysical processes in time and space and is a major variable in ecosystems dynamics. Understanding land use and land cover impacts is greatly enhanced by undertaking land use analysis. This chapter discusses some conceptual issues, the major drivers of land use and their ecological impacts in tropical environments. The role of modern satellite remote sensing technology in land-cover analysis and the technical challenges for land-cover mapping in tropical environments are also explained. To minimize ecological impacts of land use, the chapter recommends a collaborative approach to future research in the field of land-use/land cover analysis, as the motivation for sustainable land management in tropical regions.
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    Geomorphological Processes and Landforms of the Coastal Environment
    (2013-12-09) Awere-Gyekye, K.; Kusimi, J.M.; Yiran, G.A.B.
    The coastal zone is shaped by geomorphic processes. These processes result in the development of coastal landscapes characterized by varied landforms; erosional or depositional. The coastal environment is also made up of rich coastal resources and as a result it is home to more than half of the world’s population and a diversity of flora and fauna. Hence there are interactions between human and coastal systems and these interactions lead to the modification of these coastal resources and the landscape. Although there could be several benefits resulting from these interactions, the coastal system is under threat of degradation due to both human and natural factors and this call for a concerted effort to manage it sustainably. Therefore, integrated coastal zone management is seen as the optimal method for managing the coast.
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    Explanations to the Evolution of Landscapes in Geomorphology
    (2013-12-09) Kusimi, J.M.
    The chapter reviews landscape evolution models from classical period to date. The classical models include catastrophism and uniformitarianism, some of the early modern era ones are, dynamic equilibrium, geographic cycle, slope replacement and the recent ones are classified as geomorphic transport laws. The classical and early modern models are describe as descriptive because they lack numeric measurements of processes and forms whiles the contemporary models that are more empirical are termed quantitative. The fundamental principles underlying these models, limitations and strengths have been examined. Geomorphology is moving towards the quantitative phase of explaining earth surface processes and landforms because of the need to be predictive of future trends base on findings of past and current studies. However, due to the peculiarity of the discipline, geomorphogists need to work with other environmental and earth scientists to be able to develop models that will be useful and applicable in explaining landscape processes and forms.
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    Solid Waste Management in Ghana: The Past, the Present and the Future
    (2013-12-09) Oteng-Ababio, M.
    Of all environmental problems that have come into focus and become the most conspicuous landmarks on most Ghanaian urban landscape, managing solid waste has been the slowest to develop either direction or regulatory mechanisms. This study presents a case overview of SWM practices in Ghana. It provides a litmus test of where the country is by examining the characteristics of waste generated, and the effectiveness of the management system as well as the potential challenges it faces. Based on the assessment of the quantities of waste generated, and the evaluation of the soundness of the management system, the general picture is that significant quantities of waste are generated, but there are no sound management practices. The evidence suggests that waste policy implementation successes have generally tended to be driven by approaches that make economic sense to the private sector. This study provides a framework for policy and planning strategies including the call on the authorities to build on local expertise. The study maintains that presently, proper waste management is an area in which our ignorance still exceeds our knowledge and that it is the poor management of waste, not the waste per se, that makes towns and cities filthy.
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    The Volta Lake System in Ghana: An Overview of the Physical Attributes Resource Management and Environmental Challenges
    (2013-12-09) Ayivor, J.S.; Vordzogbe, V.V.
    This paper presents an overview of the Volta lake system in Ghana, highlighting key issues which need urgent public attention and policy response. Data for the study were derived from both published and unpublished literature, as well as from remotely sensed sources. The paper discusses the physical characteristics of the lake and its basin, resource management and environmental challenges of the lake system. The strategic location of the Volta Lake in the heart of the Volta basin is noted together with its importance as a reservoir for hydro-electric power generation, fishery resources, lake transportation, opportunities for irrigation, lakeside commerce and tourism. The paper catalogues environmental issues affecting the lake system, which include lakeshore deforestation, loss of biodiversity, fluctuating water levels, seasonal flooding of riparian areas, water-borne diseases, growth of aquatic weeds, climate variability and water quality degradation. Other challenges as highlighted by the paper include lakeshore erosion and sedimentation, proliferation of aquatic weeds, problems associated with lake transportation, water governance and downstream hydrological changes and the consequential changes in the ecological conditions of the residual river and the adjoining floodplain. The main concern presently is that the threshold or conflict situation has emerged where people have to choose between extensive exploitation of the lakeshore resources for economic livelihood enhancement and environmental protection for sustained power generation. The paper concludes that a better way forward is to begin looking at the Volta Lake system as a shared responsibility with a transnational concern, if the future of this resource is to be sustained.
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    Forest Governance in Ghana
    (2013-12-09) Teye, J.K.
    Even though the actual extent of forest loss in Ghana is contested, it is generally acknowledged that the country has one of the highest rates of deforestation in Africa. In order to portray the contribution of policy weaknesses to this problem, this paper examines the historical trends in forest governance the country. The analysis reveals that the high rate of forest loss in Ghana is partly caused by weak forest governance. Most of the principles of good forest governance, which includes recognising local community rights over trees and creating incentives for sustainable forest management, have historically been ignored by state forest managers. Weak forest governance has contributed to conflicts between the Forest Services Division and forest communities, and discouraged the protection of forests by local people who are the actual owners of the forests. Based on these findings, collaborative forest management arrangements which give local farmers well-defined rights and responsibilities are recommended to improve the governance of Ghana’s forests.
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    Transnational Agricultural Investments/Land Grabbing: A Contemporary Solution or Challenge for Rural Development in Ghana?
    (2013-12-09) Yaro, J.A.
    Rural Africa is still confronted with much of the challenges it faced at the dawn of independence. These challenges now have a qualitative twist as a result of the considerable social, economic, environmental and political change that is sweeping through Africa. Transnational investments in agriculture through the purchase and lease of land are argued to provide the solution to rural underdevelopment and agricultural stagnation. Examining ten such investments in Ghana, the authors find ‘possibilities’ for these companies to play important roles in the rural development process. However, the complexity of rural development is beyond the ability of one single investment imbued with neoliberal pro-market ideologies in making much positive change. Transnational investments in land have become one of the challenges of rural development that needs a careful diagnosis.
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    The Changing Views on the Role of Small Towns in Rural and Regional Development in Africa
    (2013-12-09) Owusu, G.
    This paper discusses the changing views on the role of small towns in rural and regional development in twentieth-century Africa. It argues that one cannot understand the growth and development of small towns in Africa without examining development paradigms in general, and the historical development of urban places in Africa before the 1950s. For the future, it argues for a decentralised approach to development, incorporating local views and knowledge in the shaping of Africa’s urban and rural places in the twenty-first century.
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    Gender and Development in Ghana: Feminist Geographies Perspective
    (2013-12-09) Ardayfio-Schandorf, E.; Wrigley-Asante, C.
    Using specific thematic areas that have a direct bearing on the various systematic branches of human geography, the paper draws on perspectives of feminist geographies to explore how gender relations and geographies are mutually structured on the earth’s surface. It highlights the different relationships that women and men hold with special emphasis on empirical data from studies conducted by feminist geographers in Ghana. The issues discussed show that women’s experiences are different from that of men and that gender roles and relations vary over space and constituted in place. This underscores the importance of feminist geographies and the need to fully mainstream gender in geographical studies.
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    Aspects of the Geography of Manufacturing in Ghana
    (2013-12-09) Yankson, P.W.K.
    Manufacturing geography has developed as one of the systematics of geography. In this chapter, the manufacturing sector of Ghana is analysed from the perspective of manufacturing geography. It provides a background to modern industrialization in Ghana against the backdrop of industrialization at the global level, describes the role of the manufacturing in Ghana’s economic development, trends in policy and strategy towards the manufacturing sector; trends in the performance of manufacturing, particularly in the area of employment generation; location and distribution of manufacturing firms, and the effect of contemporary economic issues on the manufacturing sector. The chapter ends with a concluding section which also looks into the future.
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    The Geography of Tourism in Ghana
    (2013-12-09) Asiedu, A.B.
    Tourism, which is increasingly viewed as an attractive development option for many parts of the developing world, has been studied by an increasing number of academic disciplines even though no widely accepted interdisciplinary field of tourism studies has yet been defined. While recognising the contributions of other disciplines to the subject matter of tourism however, geographers have been found to make distinct and significant contributions. Travelling from one’s place of normal residence to a distant location where tourism experience transpires involves spatial interaction which is a major and pivotal theme in geographical studies. Inspite of the growing recognition and importance of geography in tourism studies, not much attention has been given to it even in the wider fields of academic geography. It is against this background and the limited local materials on the topic that have necessitated the need for this chapter on the Geography of Tourism in Ghana. The chapter is organized under five (5) sections. The first section is the introduction section and this is followed in section two with a discussion on the concept of tourism. The third section deals with the subject matter of tourism whiles the fourth section is devoted to a discussion on geography of tourism in Ghana. The final section is on study conclusions and an agenda for future studies on geography of tourism in Ghana.
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    The Changing Medical Geography of Africa
    (2013-12-09) Agyei-Mensah, S.; Oppong, J.R.
    This chapter provides an overview of the historical and contemporary scholarship on medical geography of Africa with emphasis on Ghana. Medical geography research on Africa has traditionally focused on disease ecology and geography of health care, increasingly linking health with its political and economic context. More recent studies typically apply more sophisticated techniques, including genotyping and spatial analysis, in an effort to model disease control and spread as well geographic access to health. African medical geography has a solid foundation but much more needs to be done. For the future, we argue that advanced analytical approaches such as multi-level modeling are needed to provide a deeper understanding of the pressing health issues confronting the continent.
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    Transportation Geography as a Branch of Geography
    (2013-12-09) Addo, S.T.; Agyemang, E.
    As an academic discipline, Geography has had a rather interesting history with overlapping generations of scholars bringing different perspectives to bear on what is significant for research. The contemporary stress is on geography as the study of spatial organization expressed as patterns and processes. This present article chronicles the historical development of Transportation Geography as a sub-discipline in Geography in the second half of the twentieth century when it emanated from Economic Geography. The paper illuminates the contributions of various leading European and American geographers who dedicated their career life towards the development of the sub-discipline during its embryonic stages until its introduction in Sub-Saharan Africa at the University of Ghana in the early 70s. A second overarching objective of this paper is an exposition of various themes that have informed the curriculum of the sub-discipline including transport/land use relationships; relationship between transport and development in Ghana, the rest of the developing world and the developed world. The paper further reflects on making Transportation Geography respond to the challenges of the 21st century.
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    Understanding field techniques for geographic data collection
    (2013-12-09) Yiran, G.A.B.; Owusu, A.B.; Kufogbe, S.K.
    One of the main concerns of geographic studies is the understanding of spatial and temporal dynamics of the earth surface. In doing so, geographers have employed surveying and sampling methods and technologies in data collection, analysis and publishing which help in revealing the underlying processes that generate the observed spatial pattern. The primary focus of this chapter is to discuss techniques employed by geographers in field data collection. The chapter presents methods of collecting physical and socio-economic and other data relevant to describe the spatial variation of a geographic area.
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    Challenges in the design and implementation of geo-spatial data infrastructure for urban land use planning in Ghana
    (2013-12-09) Owusu, A.B.; Kufogbe, S.K.; Yiran, G.A.B.
    The cities of the developing world face major problems in managing growth and their urban spatial structures. The experiences of cities in the developed world have lessons to teach their developing world counterparts on how they have been able to deploy geospatial technology to plan and managed themselves. Geospatial technology and the underlying spatial data infrastructures (SDI) appear to offer significant potential to assist in planning and managing urban settlements in developing countries. In examining the challenges in the design and implementing spatial data infrastructure for urban land use planning the first part of the paper reviews the urbanization trends and land use planning challenges. It then looks at the application of geospatial technology and the underlying SDI before concluding with an attempt at SDI development in Ghana and the challenges that cities in Ghana faces in the bid to design and implement SDI for urban land use planning.
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    The Map as a Tool for Explanations in Geography
    (2013-12-09) Kufogbe, S.K.; Owusu, A.B.; Yiran, G.A.B.
    The map as a symbolic representation on earth forms and features constitutes a very vital medium for understanding geographic reality. Explanation using the map is concerned with understanding interrelationships among location, character, and arrangement of natural and cultural features and their interactions on the surface of the earth over time. Different types of thematic maps are used by geographers alongside diagrams, tables and written accounts. The map can yield significant amount of information in the hands of the skilled user. It is for this reason that it has been described as the geographer’s most useful resource. Maps are increasingly becoming readily available through the internet. It is the belief of the authors’ that this chapter will stimulate the interest of the reader to take a second look at maps and seek to understand the messages encoded in them. Despite the power of maps as explanatory tools, very few scholars outside of geography use maps and some people are intimidated by maps. As is evident in the illustrative examples provided, professionals outside geography can also use maps no longer as decorative pieces, but more usefully in interpreting and understanding earth reality.
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    Central Themes, Concepts, and Methodologies of Geography
    (2013-12-09) Gyasi, E.A.; Yaro, J.A.; Owusu, A.B.
    Geography as a discipline is one of the oldest fields of learning. The organization of the multi-faceted physical and human features over the earth space is generally seen as the primary focus of geographical enquiry, hence the common designation of geography as a subject that deals with spatial organization. This chapter provides a good definition of the key themes, concepts and methodologies of geography and elucidates the basic concerns and procedures of the discipline. The significance of this Chapter is that it provides the disciplinary context for the various topical issues addressed in subsequent chapters of this book.