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Regional News of Thursday, 3 March 2016

Source: The Chronicle

Stop polluting water bodies - Dr. Agyemang-Mensah

The Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang Mensah, has appealed to Ghanaians to desist from activities that destroy our resources, especially water-bodies.

He said the acute shortages of water were as a result of drought and human activities such as illegal mining, farming and various pollutions along the water bodies.

He said galamsey (illegal mining) pollutes and blocks river courses, which makes it extremely very difficult for the Ghana Water Company (GWCL) to supply water, because they have to buy more chemicals to treat the water.

Adding, people who farm along the river banks destroy its protection, “When you do this, you are causing damages to this resource, so I am appealing to the Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies and traditional authorities, what has happened is a wakeup call for all of us have to come together and work hard to make sure we preserve these resources.”

According to the sector minister, it is the wish of President John Mahama to have every home supplied with potable water by 2025, that is why he is working hard to make sure that there will be potable water available. Dr. Agyemang-Mensah said this when he stopped by the Nsawam-Adoagyiri, water treatment plant, as part of his tour of the Eastern and Ashanti regions to inspect water projects underway.

He added that when the shortage of water hit Nsawam-Adoagyiri, he was tasked to ensure that the situation was brought to normalcy as soon as possible, so the GWCL and National Security came together to drill boreholes and provide tankers, and also dredged the Densu River to get more water pumped into the system.

As part of interim measures, water tankers were also provided to supply water to more critical institutions such as hospitals and schools.

Dr. Agyemang-Mensah told the media that he was on his way to Kwahu Kotosu, Kumawu and Konongo in the Eastern and Ashanti regions, respectively, to pay a working visit to ongoing projects dubbed “the three case”, at the cost about USSD$236,000,000, which would be commissioned by the end of this year.

He, therefore, made an appeal that “all of us must make it as our responsibility to preserve the water, so that we will always have access to good drinking water, because water is life.” He added that currently, his ministry is producing 500,000 gallons of water daily, although it cannot be compared to the 1,000,000 the GWCL used to produce daily.

Nonetheless, the current supply is still not enough and more efforts are being put in place to explore the possibility of getting more water by drilling more boreholes. The Eastern Regional Minister, Mavis Ama Frimpong, on her part, expressed appreciation to the government for the swift response to the problem.

She said the situation had improved, but what needs to be done, is to call on the Municipal and District Assemblies to embark on tree planting along the river banks to protect the water bodies. She also appealed that in order to prevent a health crisis, there is the need to preserve our water bodies to prevent outbreaks of water borne diseases.

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