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News 2020

Special MSc project feature: Jeremiah Asumbere’s research into freshwater quality in Accra, Ghana.

21 May 2020
Jeremiah Asumbere in BEES, UCC

The first run of our Postgraduate diploma in freshwater quality monitoring and assessment, 2017-2019 led some of the graduates to continue their studies and enter a final year to obtain an MSc. Thirteen students are currently carrying out research projects in their home countries on a wide range of projects.

To give a flavour of these topics we are delighted to feature the ongoing research our MSc student, Jeremiah Asumbere, in Ghana.

Jeremiah’s project focuses on both environmental and public health protection in Accra, Ghana. His research aims to shed light on the pollution present in the Densu river basin and especially in the Weija reservoir.


Location of the Weija Reservoir in Accra, Ghana


Sampling in the Weija Reservoir, Accra, Ghana

The Densu river system is one of the largest contributors to surface water reserves in Ghana but it is considered to be polluted. The Densu river supplies the Weija reservoir. Similar to many river systems across the globe, the Densu catchment is exposed to pollution from a variety of different land uses including agriculture and industries like mining. Agricultural run-off in the rainy season can input excessive nutrients and pesticides to freshwater in the catchment, which is eventually carried through the river course and into the water bodies like the Weija reservoir.

The Weija reservoir is used for drinking water supply by the Ghana Water Company among other uses. There have not been any recent studies at the Weija reservoir despite its importance for supplying drinking water and the escalating threat of pollution.

Jeremiah’s project involves assessment of the potential threats to the water quality and the testing of water to provide further information on the impacts to water quality. His analyses include methods to detect and measure pesticides and heavy metals of concern along with commonly monitored physical and chemical parameters. The results of these sampling campaigns will help determine whether the water quality is deteriorating and the potential human health and environmental risks. The information obtained on the water quality and potential pollution threats is beneficial for all who value and use the water body.

Jeremiah’s project is expected to provide valuable conclusions to the Accra region, the Ghana Water Company and the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency.

Jeremiah has already carried out a number of field campaigns and laboratory analysis.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his fellow students are using the opportunity to carry-out desk-based research and analyse their data. We are very impressed by the ongoing hard work of our MSc students and look forward to the finished projects.


Sampling for water quality parameters in the Weija Reservoir and at the banks of the River Densu, Accra, Ghana.

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

Distillery Fields, North Mall, University College Cork, Ireland , T23 N73K.