, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 301–309 | Cite as

Urban Waste Pollution in the Korle Lagoon, Accra, Ghana

  • Kwasi Owusu Boadi
  • Markku Kuitunen


The Korle Lagoon in Accra, Ghana, has become one of the most polluted water bodies on earth. It is the principal outlet through which all major drainage channels in the city empty their wastes into the sea. Large amounts of untreated industrial waste emptied into surface drains has led to severe pollution in the lagoon and disrupted its natural ecology. The increased levels of industrial activity and consumption by the urban population lead to the generation of copious quantities of waste. Managing the volume of wastes poses a major challenge for the city authorities, particularly, ensuring that all the waste generated is collected for disposal. In Accra, the Waste Management Department is currently capable of collecting only 60 percent of the waste generated daily. The rest is dumped in open spaces, in surface drains, and into water bodies which end up in the Korle Lagoon. High eutrophication levels have developed in the shallow water body. The net effect is that, at the slightest downpour, the lagoon overflows its banks causing regular flooding in parts of the city.

The Government of Ghana, having realized the adverse impacts of pollution in the lagoon on the physical and economic environment of Accra, with the support of donor agencies, is implementing measures to restore the lagoon to its natural ecology. Attempts are also being made to get the communities in the catchment area to become involved in managing their environment through environmental education and awareness programes.

freshwater pollution Korle Lagoon Ghana 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kwasi Owusu Boadi
    • 1
  • Markku Kuitunen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and ScienceUniversity of JyvaskylaFinland

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