HTML Document Sakumo Ramsar Site

The Sakumo Ramsar site is located in the West of Tema and comprises of an open lagoon and surrounding flood plains. It has high educational and recreational value. It is one of the few open 'green' areas in Tama area.

Release date 04/09/2010
Contributor Eric Okoree

Sakumo Ramsar Site was designated as Ramsar Site in 1992 with a total area of 1400ha.   The Site is located 3km west of Tema and comprises of an open lagoon and surrounding flood plain.  The open lagoon varies from 100 - 350 ha depending on the season and is separated from the sea by a narrow sand dune on which the Accra-Tema beach road is built.  It is connected to the sea by two small channels, constructed to prevent flooding of the road. Large portions of the lagoon dry up in the dry season, resulting in hypersaline conditions. In addition to the open lagoon and surrounding flood plain, two other habitat types are recognizable in the wetland: freshwater marshes and coastal savanna grasslands in the northern areas.  

The lagoon is heavily over-fished resulting in reduced catch over the years and stunted tilapia populations. The lagoon is regarded as a fetish by the indigenous people of Tema New Town and the Black Heron Egretta ardesiaca is considered a sacred animal and is protected by local taboos. It is also a taboo to fish in the lagoon from daybreak to 12 noon on Fridays, and the period from end October/early November to end of March/early April is a closed season for fishing in the lagoon.

Seventy (70) species of waterbirds have been recorded at the Sakumo site with an estimated population of some 30,000 birds, including globally important numbers of Tringa erythropus, Sterna sandvicensi and Chlidonias niger.  Waterbird species breeding at the site include Glareola pratincola, Charadrius pecuarius and Sterna albifrons.

The Sakumo Ramsar Site has high educational and recreational value, being one of the few open “green” areas left in the rapidly expanding Accra-Tema metropolitan area, it is however threatened with rapid population growth, urbanization, sewage and domestic waste from the catchment.