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THE DENSU DELTA

Densu Delta is located 11 km west of Accra in the Greater Accra Region, and covers 5,893 ha. The area supports 57 species of seashore birds, with an estimated population of 35,000, and 15 species of fish belonging to 14 genera and 9 families, with Sarotherodon melanotheron and Tilapia zillii as the dominant fish species. Three species of marine turtles nest on the beaches, i.e. Olive Ridley turtle, green turtle and leatherback turtle. Scattered stands of mangrove (Avicennia africana) occur at the site.

Densu Delta is contiguous with the Accra Metropolitan Area, and is urbanizing at a rapid pace. With Bortianor as the largest township, in 1997, the human population was estimated at about 500,000. Land uses comprise large-scale commercial salt mining by about 60% of the active population, lagoon fishing for tilapia and the blue-legged swimming crab, and arable agriculture involving the cultivation of cassava, maize and vegetables. Other common activities are quarrying of stones, clay and sand winning, and settlement and industrial development. As in Sakumo Lagoon, the chief priest, who is the custodian of the lagoon, officially closes the lagoon to public activity to perform purification rituals. All local communities observe these days of informal closure. This local tradition takes away some of the pressure on the natural resources.