When the project was launched, two studies were prepared in order to obtain more detailed knowledge of the ecological status of the lagoon and the socio-economic factors that were influencing it. A participatory planning procedure enabled the lagoon riparians and other stakeholders to articulate their interests, and make sure that these were taken into account in the further planning of project activities.
One important part of the project involved solid waste management measures. In some cases, for instance, domestic waste is disposed of in the waste water ditches that run past settlements. In the second year of the project (2013), seven key inlets were therefore identified through which large quantities of refuse were finding their way into the lagoon. To reduce the introduction of solid waste, and especially plastic, several construction measures were implemented to install large siphon-type grids in the water channels. Furthermore, several large waste dumps were removed from along the shores. At the institutions based in the lagoon watershed (several schools and one hospital), waste containers were installed at central locations in order to allow waste to be collected and disposed of on a regular basis.
As mango and tree stands along the shores had dwindled severely in recent years, in 2013 – under the auspices of the Department of Parks and Gardens – a tree nursery was set up with seedlings to be planted in afforestation measures. During the first year 3,000 seedlings were cultivated, 1,200 of which were planted close to the shores. Further planting measures followed in the years thereafter. Training courses were held at which members of the local population were shown how to set up and manage tree nurseries, so that citizens can assume responsibility for taking care of the seedlings and the newly planted areas. Several clean-up activities were held around the lagoon with schoolchildren.
During project implementation, members of the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly – supported by the Survey and Mapping Commission – also drew up a land-use plan for the region around the lagoon. At the same time bylaws were developed that will enable the local authority to sanction environmental offences. These bylaws were presented to council members and the citizens of Cape Coast at various events. They were subsequently published in the legal gazette, which means they are now in force and can be applied.
Expert exchange between the two municipalities was continuously maintained throughout project implementation. Here the focus was on themes such as restoration, environmental education, integrated solid waste management and solid waste education.