Parliament okays GHS1.6m tax waiver on devices to monitor earthquakes

Ghana’s legislature has on Monday, July 13, 2020, approved an amount of GHS1.6 million tax waiver on the procurement of equipment and devices to monitor earthquake movements following last month’s magnitude 4.0 earth tremor which hit parts of the capital city, Accra.

The approval of the waiver which is in respect of the Ghana Radio Astronomy Project and Colocation of the Satellite Earth Observation Group receiving station at Kuntunse for the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) is thus expected to serve as a huge boost for the country’s earthquake predictions.

Under the agreement initiated between the Ghanaian government and its South African counterparts in 2013, a Radio Telescope facility will be established in Ghana to train students in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology and Space Science.

The natural occurrence which was felt three times within a space of ten minutes on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, took residents by surprise with some abandoning their homes for a greater part of the night.

Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah said the project is expected to contribute significantly to the development of “highly skilled human capital for sectors of the economy such as software, mechanical and structural, electronic and electrical, control and monitoring engineering and various filed in science and technology.”

The report also noted that “an integral part of the telescope facility will be a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reference receiver, a Geodetic-level Antenna and Seismic System to study the weather, earthquakes and plate tectonics.”

The report further revealed that Ghana’s position on the Globe and its close proximity to the equator formed part of the reasons, the country was chosen as a partner country.

“Ghana’s location on the Globe makes Ghana’s telescope the Radio Telescope with the widest view of the Milky Way Galaxy, thereby attracting a lot of international interest.”

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