The Ghana Water Company Limited has suspended production at Bunso headworks due to pollution of the Birim River by illegal miners which has raised the raw water turbidity to untreatable level.
The Water treatment plant has since been shut down depriving many communities access to potable water.
The Bunso Water Treatment plant has a 100,000 gallon production capacity per day and provides water to Bunso Township, cocoa college, parts of Osiem and Nsutem.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Regional branch of GWCL, Kwadwo Daase, the decision to shut down the plant became necessary because the raw water turbidity has worsened further from 6750 NTU to about 11,000NTU from Tuesday September 4 to September 5, 2018 far above treatable capacity.
“Yesterday around 6pm we observed that the raw water that feeds the plant for continuous treatment and supply to the People of Bunso, Atukrom, Nsutem, Osiem and Bunso Junction area, we realized the turbidity has increased drastically around 6750NTU then even this morning it is around 11,000NTU”.
He said, it is highly suspected that some illegal miners have resurfaced on the upstream of the Birim River mining directly in it.
“We suspect, and it has always been the case that the intensive illegal mining is going on in the upstream of the Birim River.”
According to him, the turbidity of the river often rises leading to intermittent suspension of production for some hours but the recent pollution has become incessantly high for the past two days.
The Bunso and Kibi water Treatment plants were frequently shut down for weeks due to pollution of the Birim river by the illegal miners, however, since the government introduced the operation Vanguard Taskforce last year to clamp down on illegal mining, the pollution reduced drastically but the illegal miners resurfaced whenever they realized the absence of the taskforce.