Geological Survey of Finland Has Several Projects in Africa –  More Impact With On-site Trainings

Geological Survey of Finland GTK has been involved in a number of projects in Africa over the past 30 years. Topics have included groundwater management, sustainable mining industry, mining waste management, geological mapping of minerals, data management and food security. Geological mappings have been carried out in several countries as well as geophysics measurements. As an element of long-term impact, projects usually incorporate training of the local people in the subject.

research specimens on the table. A woman teaching and others taking notes and listening.
The project in Ethiopia was carried out during 2014-2018. Photo Tegist Chernet, GTK

There have been various projects related to geoinformation e.g. Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Namibia. Below there are more details of some of the projects.

Developing the remediation and closure of mining waste areas in Zambia

Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) participated in a project funded by the World Bank that promoted the remediation and closure of mining waste areas. The project created a national plan with an overview of the current situation and providing instructions for the sustainable long-term development of mining operations, with a special emphasis on safety and the environment.

The project was carried out by a consortium led by the international engineering and consulting group DMT, with GeoQuest (a Zambian based geological, environmental, GIS and Hydrogeological consultancy company) as the local operator. The work was ordered by the Zambian ministry responsible for developing mining and minerals operations, and the ZMERIP project (Zambian Mining and Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project), which operates under the ministry and focuses on the environmental challenges posed by mines.

“What boosted the national impact of the project was that we had a local partner who knew the area and culture, and had existing connections to the ministry,” explains Anna Tornivaara, Team Manager at GTK and the Project Manager of the World bank project.

Geological mapping and industrial mineral surveys in Mozambique

GTK has supervised and coordinated 15 different World Bank funded geoscience projects in Mozambique. The most recent project ended in 2022. The projects are concentrated on geological mapping as well as geochemical and geophysical surveys.

A map showing the countries where GTK has had co-operation projects in Africa and MENA region.
Geological Survey of Finland GTK has been involved in a number of projects in Africa over the past 30 years.

Improving food security and sustainable production in Ethiopia

GTK has done capacity building for geo-information production for the Geological Survey of Ethiopia and Ministry of Mines. In addition to that, GTK and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) were improving food security in Ethiopia through enhancing the soil fertility using the area’s own mineral resource. the project was funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland promoted instrument called ‘ICI’.

“The project investigated the quantity and quality (suitability) of lime resources and their effect on soil pH, health and fertility to increase crop yield and nutrition value. As a result, crop yield considerably increased while minimizing the use of phosphate-based fertilizer by nearly 50%. We have done experiments on the smallholder farmers land, working together with the farmers and extension service providers and other stakeholders, at the same time providing on-job-trainings. By the end of the project, we have documented soil analytical data, guideline for proper application of lime and fertilizers at our counterpart institutions. Information was disseminated to several stockholders and country’s government level through meetings and workshops. This bottom-up approach worked well in the area,” says Project Manager Tegist Chernet, Senior Researcher at GTK.

Artificial groundwater know-how to Kenya?

GTK’s first water-related projects in Africa were made decades ago. Now (February 2023) there is an ongoing market survey around groundwater or managed aquifer recharge to be exact. The Survey is funded by Business Finland.

More information

Philipp Schmidt-Thomé
International Operations Director
Tel. +358 29 503 2163

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