International oil companies in the Jubilee Field now import potable water from Cote d’Ivoire and Benin because of the inability of the Ghana Water Company (GWC) in the Western Region to meet their water supply demands.
“As a result of this shortage, supply vessels go to Cote d’Ivoire to buy water to service the offshore oil and gas industry, at a very high cost to the Government of Ghana,” Mr Nuetey Adziman, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association (GOGSPA), said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Takoradi, Mr Adziman said though he was unable to determine the volumes of water imported by the oil companies, they could run into millions of cubic metres a day.
The cost of importing the water is added to the cost of development of the various oilfields in which the government has shares and, therefore, contributes in paying.
Meanwhile, the GWC has said its inability to supply adequate water to communities in its catchment area is due partly to the activities of galamsey operators.
Currently, according to GWC officials, the company produce less than two million cubic metres of water per day, instead of six million cubic metres.
It is for this reason that the Western Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has expressed shock at the revelation that the Minerals Commission has granted permits to three mining companies to mine gold in some rivers in the Sekyere Hemang area.
This is at a time when efforts are being made to stop galamsey activities along river banks.
A letter written by the Minerals Commission to the REGSEC which was sighted by the Daily Graphic said from the commission’s records, 21 applications were currently pending.
The letter was signed by the Principal Inspector of Mines, Mr Evans K. Addae.
Mining in water bodies (dredging) is permitted by the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission in some instances.
Experts have, however, warned that if steps are not taken to repeal that law for water to flow before the middle of this year, when the international oil companies would be returning to the country to start operations, the country will lose a lot.
They strongly advise against the daily importation of water into the country at a cost to the government
Mr Adziman said the development had become a great source of worry to members of GOGSPA because the continuous importation of water defeated the local content agenda.
`He said the country could not boast of promoting “local content and local participation” in petroleum activities as prescribed in the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act when water had to be imported, noting that the supply vessels had been forced to resort to water importation.
Source: Daily Graphic