Time to halt illegal mining for potable water – GWCL
The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has called for stringent and timely measures to halt the activities of illegal mining (galamsey) which continue to deplete raw water resources across the country.
According to the company, illegal mining is having critical impact on operational cost due to increased turbidity levels as well as the quality of water supply in the country.
Mr John Eric Kwofie, Central Regional Production Manager of GWCL, who made the call at the celebration of this year’s World Water Day in the Region, said most of the company’s treatment plants might be forced to shut down in future if the activities of illegal miners continued.
World Water Day was instituted by the United Nations (UN) at a summit on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 to draw world leader’s attention to the need to protect water bodies.
The theme for this year’s celebration was: “Water and waste water,” and it was attended by students from senior and junior high schools within the Mfantseman Municipality as well as the public.
“Overall operational cost for the Region keeps increasing due to rising repair and maintenance of our raw water pumps mainly due to this galamsey activities.
“Let me say that if timely measures are not taken to halt this canker, most of our treatment plants in the Region and the nation as a whole may be forced to shut down in the near future,” Mr Kwofie added.
Mr Kwofie also mentioned prolonged farming activities along water bodies, discharge of waste into water bodies, climate change and sand winning activities as some of the factors responsible for reduction in water supply
He has called on communities living near water bodies to protect them for posterity.
He urged the Water Resources Commission to speed up work on the implementation of the buffer zone policy while activities of the National Task Force be strengthened to deal with the issue.
Mr Kwofie noted that though water was fundamentally important to human survival, more than 80 per cent of waste water generated in the society was released back to the ecosystem without being reused.
He said waste water did not only harm and polluted the environment but presented a health hazard to billions of people around the world and called for effective waste water management to improve lives and the environment.
He gave the assurance that the consumers and the public that GWCL would continue to collaborate with the relevant stakeholders to manage the existing raw water resources of the Region to provide potable water at all times.