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General News of Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Source: GNA

Protect Barekese Headwork – Minister to GWC

Ghana Water Company (GWC), has been tasked to institute drastic measures to check illegal chain saw and other negative activities within the catchment area of the Barekese Headwork, threatening its survival.

Dr Kwaku Agyemang- Mensah, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, who gave the assignment, asked the company to check the incessant illegal chain saw activities and encroachment around the peripheries of the dam causing siltation, turbidity, depletion of the forest cover, and a resultant high cost of water treatment.

The problem is crippling the capacity of the dam to meet its demand to supply more than 30 million gallons of water daily to residents of the Kumasi Metropolis and its environs.

This calls for the construction of a raw water dam downstream to ensure the supply of an additional 18 million gallons a day to boost daily demand by 2025.

Dr Agyemang-Mensah who was briefed by officials of GWC when he met Heads of Department as part of a working visit to the Ashanti Region, suggested military patrols around the dam to stem the illegal activities.

He also called for regular public education and strict enforcement of by-laws to deal with physical structures that are rampantly being constructed on transmission and distribution mains since this caused loss of water.

The Minister who visited the dam site at Barekese in the Atwima-Mwabiagya District and the Asokore Mampong Affordable Houses said plans are under way to involve private partners to complete the project initiated by the Kufuor administration which is about 60 per cent.

He said about GH? 130 million would be needed to complete the 1,030 housing units started in 2006 and calls for private participation since the government alone cannot execute it.

Mr Francis Kwesi Awortwe, Chief Manager in charge of water production of GWC, said the Owabi Dam, which also serves some communities in the Kumasi Metropolis is also faced with challenges causing structural defects.