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General News of Thursday, 4 April 2019


Pollution is killing our water bodies -Afenyo Markin

The Chairman of the Board of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu Constituency, Mr Alexander Afenyo Markin, has indicated that Ghana’s water bodies are drying up due to environmental pollution and climate change.

The situation, he indicated, is having a toll on the GWCL, as the company struggles to treat water and distribute to the citizenry.

“Mr Speaker, the cost of treatment of water at GWC is scary, all because our water bodies are drying up.”

Mr Markin, therefore, beseeched his colleague MPs and the citizenry to adhere to rules and regulations put in place by the government to curb environmental pollution, in order to help preserve our water bodies.

Mr Markin was reacting to a statement on climate change and its adverse effects on the country on the floor of Parliament yesterday.

The Effutu Constituency Lawmaker explained that the lack of support for the government in taking punitive measures against those who pollute the environment is causing our water bodies to dry up.

He said a recent publication revealed that there was going to be scarcity of water in some parts of the country due to the drying up of our water bodies. “This is not because we don’t have money to treat water to supply to these communities, but it’s because our water bodies are drying up.”

“We say we want water by 2030; water for all; are we ready to support government to put in place punitive actions against those who are polluting the environment?” he asked.

Mr Markin said that if we want to preserve our environment and water bodies, then “cocoa farmers should be made to understand that cutting down their cocoa trees for galamsey activities, due to the meager money they would derive from it, would rather affect the environment and the economy as a whole.

Those who are into the timber business and engage in illegal felling of trees should also be made to understand that their activities would affect the environment and the economy.”

The Minister also advised politicians not to dwell on policies meant to correct wrongs in society as campaign promises, just for the sake of gaining political power.

“That approach would not project the kind of future we want for Ghana. Such attitudes drive the citizenry to disobey the orders of the government of the day, and commit acts that have repercussions on the whole country,” he said.

He opined that people should be able to take politics out of serious national issues, protect the environment, and make resources available for future generations.

Mr Markin observed that Ghana has invested more than GH¢2 billion in the water sector, but yet, we are not able to provide sufficient potable water to the people of Ghana, hence, the basis for the setting up of a treatment plant, and we are still unable to distribute and supply water regularly.

“We are even desalinating sea water at a very high cost when we have water in abundance, but our bad attitudes wouldn’t let us enjoy it.

“Everybody who knows that water is life must support the government and take partisan politics out, so that the country will win the war against climate change.”

Citing Rwanda as an example, Mr Markin observed that Rwanda had gained the admiration of many countries, in terms of governance, because the government has ensured people respect the rules and regulations, and those who don’t are punished

“Are we all ready to go the Rwanda way? The Rwandan way is take politics out of it. Be ready to protect the environment, make resources available for future generations, and not get into politics because power.

“If Rwanda has done it, then Ghana can also do it as well.”

He called on other MPs to make efforts in their respective jurisdictions to ensure that environmental pollution is brought to its barest minimum, by helping the government in the fight against galamsey (illegal mining).

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