Ghana Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Ghana?

Overview:

Ghana is situated on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, and its capital, Accra, is 4 degrees north of the Equator. Ghana covers 238,540 square kilometers and is about the size of Oregon. Half of the country lies less than 152 meters above sea level and the highest point is 883 meters. The 537-kilometer coastline is mostly a low, sandy shore backed by a narrow coastal plain with scrub brush, and intersected by rivers and streams, navigable only by canoe. A tropical rain forest belt, broken by heavily forested hills and many streams and rivers, extends northward from the shore near the border with Côte d’Ivoire. This area, traditionally known as Ashanti, but now divided into several administrative regions, produces most of Ghana’s cocoa, minerals, and timber. North of this belt the country varies from 91 to 396 meters above sea level and is covered by low bush, savanna, and grassy plains.

A major feature of the country’s geography is the Volta Lake, the world’s largest manmade lake (8,900 square kilometers), which extends from the Akosombo Dam (completed in 1966) in southeastern Ghana to the town of Yapei, 520 kilometers to the north. The dam generates electricity for all of Ghana as well as some exports to neighboring countries. The lake also serves as an inland waterway and is a potentially valuable resource for irrigation and fish farming.

Geography - note:

Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake by surface area (8,482 sq km; 3,275 sq mi)

Climate:

Ghana's climate is tropical with temperatures between 21°C and 32°C (70°F and 90°F). Rainy seasons extend from April to July (heavy rains) and from September to November (light rains). Annual rainfall exceeds 200 centimeters on the coast, decreasing inland. Accra’s annual rainfall averages about 76 centimeters, low for coastal West Africa. The southern part of the country is humid most of the year, but the north can be very dry.


It is coolest from May until October. In December the harmattan, a dry dusty wind from the Sahara, covers the country, and lasts through February. The desert wind reduces humidity, and early mornings and nights are relatively cool. Visibility during the harmattan can be poor, as the air is filled with fine dust.

Ghana Use of Natural Resources

Ghana Environment

Climate:

Ghana's climate is tropical with temperatures between 21°C and 32°C (70°F and 90°F). Rainy seasons extend from April to July (heavy rains) and from September to November (light rains). Annual rainfall exceeds 200 centimeters on the coast, decreasing inland. Accra’s annual rainfall averages about 76 centimeters, low for coastal West Africa. The southern part of the country is humid most of the year, but the north can be very dry.


It is coolest from May until October. In December the harmattan, a dry dusty wind from the Sahara, covers the country, and lasts through February. The desert wind reduces humidity, and early mornings and nights are relatively cool. Visibility during the harmattan can be poor, as the air is filled with fine dust.

Terrain:

mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area

Natural Resources:

gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower

Natural Hazards:

dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds occur from January to March; droughts

Irrigated Land:

119 Square Miles
309 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

recurrent drought in north severely affects agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Ghana Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 92,098 Square Miles
238,533 Square Kilometers
Land Area 87,850 Square Miles
227,533 Square Kilometers
Water Area 4,247 Square Miles
11,000 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,301 Miles
2,094 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 119 Square Miles
309 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Burkina Faso 549 km, Cote d'Ivoire 668 km, Togo 877 km
Coastline 335 Miles
539 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 8 00 N, 2 00 W
Terrain mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area
Highest Point 880 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount Afadjato 880 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower
Time Zone UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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