Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mrs Cecilia Abena Daapah, yesterday inspected facilities at the Weija and Kpong Treatment Plants of the Ghana Urban Water Company.
The visit offered the minister the chance to gain first-hand information on operations of the firm.
She was also educated on how raw water was channelled through a series of treatment processes, removal of pollutants and final testing to ensure the flow of water.
During the tour, it was discovered that four out of twelve (12) sand filters used for the treatment of the water at Weija Dam and a control panel were faulty.
Management of Ghana Urban Water Company, which is in charge of the treatment plant, noted that the filters and control panel were vital in the delivery of potable water to residents in Accra and other surrounding areas.
The minister gave the assurance that she would ensure that the facilities were repaired immediately in order not to compromise work at the treatment centre.
She commended workers of GWCL for the transformation of the water sector, saying “our water is safe for drinking,” and urged them to work together to provide potable water to the residents of Accra and its communities.
She warned the residents to stop dumping waste particles into the water and directed that all land transactions within the Weija Dam land area be discontinued with immediate effect.
She further directed that no one should sell land within the Weija Dam space in order to forestall the wanton encroachment and arbitrary land development.
Mrs Daapah stressed that the position of government in this regard was that, all illegal activities with respect to the sale of sand winning, logging and deforestation must be stopped.
According to her, encroachment of the catchment area posed a serious threat to the survival of the Weija Dam, which provided drinking water to the population of Accra.
She noted that the pollution of the water had increased the cost of producing potable water at the Weija Treatment Area, and indicated that the GWCL now added alum to the water instead of using chlorine and lime.
She said the community was enjoined to effectively partner government to protect and save the Wieja Dam from imminent threat posed by illegalities in the area
For his part, the Managing Director (MD) of GWCL, Ing. Dr Clifford A. Braimah, noted that the quantity of water produced on daily basis to serve consumers had not been affected in spite of the damage of the four sand filters and other devices, stating that the level might fall if any of the filters breakdown.
“We are working with eight (8) existing sand filters which are in good condition now because we are over loading them, he told Today in an interview.”
He indicated that the Weija Treatment Plant has the capacity to treat 60 million gallons of raw water per day and produce 56 million gallons of treated water but currently supplies 36 million gallons of drinkable water daily.
According to him, plans are underway to repair the four water filters which were at faulty, saying that the company needs US$ 36 million to fix the problem to help improve the water delivery system in Accra and others communities.
Today also gathered that the Weija Dam was originally constructed on the Densu River in 1952 to supply water to the western and central parts of the Accra metropolis and it had a capacity of five million cubic metres (22.73 million gallons).
The original dam was washed away due to excessive flooding in 1968 and was replaced in 1973 at the same site with an earth and rock-filled dam.
Sources at the Water Resources Commission (WRC) told Today that about 70 per cent of the Weija Dam’s catchment area had been encroached upon
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU
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