GHANA yesterday marked World Water Day with a call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to intervene in the illegal mining activities currently going on in the country.
World Water Day is celebrated March 22 every year to focus on the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene in developing and developed countries.
However, in an interview with Today a cross-section of Ghanaians yesterday were worried that most of Ghana’s water bodies were left without aquatic life due to illegal mining activities, popularly known as galamsey, and the emission of poisonous chemicals into them.
They cited, for instance, a place like Sekyere Hemang in the Central Region, where as a result of galamsey activities their water bodies have become polluted.
Regional Production Manager of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in Cape Coast in the Central Region, Mr. John Eric Kwofie, in an interview on Peace FM in Accra yesterday noted that the company was unable to tap water from rivers to some communities in the region.
Former District Chief Executive of Mpohor Wassa East, Mr. Anthony Aggrey, also commenting on the World Water Day, said the pollution of Pra River in the area, continues to be a major source of worry, and called on stakeholders to do something about it.
Meanwhile, figures from the GWCL have revealed that the Western Region loses a total of 5.3 million gallons of water daily due to increased activities of illegal miners in the Pra River.
According to GWCL, over half of the company’s customers of about 31,327 are denied potable water on daily basis.
The two major water treatment plants serving the Twin City (Sekondi Takoradi), the GWCL said, have had to cut production due to low levels of water in the Pra River.
According to the Western and Central Regions Communication Manager of GWCL, Nana Yaw Barnie, “the Daboase Treatment Plant has a production capacity of 5.5 million gallons of water per day, but as we speak, it has reduced to 3 million, a loss of 2.5 million gallons.
The Nchaaban Head works which is to augment the supply of water had had to also cut down its size of 4 million gallons to 1.3 million gallons of water per day.
“As a result, we have had to ration water in order to sustain supply, if not, only the people in lowlands will have water,” he explained.
He added: “The Ghana Water Company Limited has had all its sources for the Axim, Bonsaso, Daboase and Nchaaban polluted by illegal miners.
The turbidity levels of the Ankobra River which serves the Axim Treatment Plant, River Bonsa which serves the Bonsaso Treatment Station and Pra for the Daboase and Nchaaban Stations have increased substantially over the past few years prompting the application of more chemicals for treatment.
Other minor rivers which supply small towns and villages in the middle belt of the region have also not been spared from the pollution.
It is projected that Ghana may be importing water by 2025 if the spate of pollution does not change.”
Story by Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu