Engineers at the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) lament that the present state of River Pra could not be sustained and called for the intensification of the battle against the illegal mining.
They stated that galamsey, apart from the growing danger to security and safety procedures, had crippled distribution benchmarks of the estimated six millions gallons of water per day for the Sekondi – Takoradi metropolis.
The engineers said these were affecting revenue generation for the operation of water treatment plants.
Again, dredging works alone, is scooping the investment pipe of about GH¢50,000, while about GH¢1.5million also goes into other operations, including purchase of chemicals, the team complained.
They observed that even military cum-police operations aimed at ridding the Rive Pra of illegal activities had lost its steam with authorities ‘losing the battle.’
“Today, the colour of water from River Pra is brown and the galamseyers are still on rafts with submerged pumps mining for gold ore. Some have described the colour as chocolate.
“It’s not been easy; it’s difficult. Indeed it’s a worry. Sometimes we even have to beg them to allow us draw water for our systems for distribution”. The Chief Manager for the GWCL in the Western Region, Mr. Mark Teiko Cudjoe, raised these concerns on Thursday, when the Minster for Works and Housing Water Resources visited the intake point at the Daboase head works to assess the situation.
“We’ve tried using the military and not even the death of two military officers could serve as a lesson,” he emphasised.
He reported that as at Thursday the river level at the in-take point of about three meters had further dipped to the 1.9meters mark, showing signs of danger to distribution efforts.
Mr. Cudjoe told the Minister that three brand new pumps bought by the company to improve work had also been destroyed, adding that the pollution was too much for the equipment.
He said while the company paid so much for chemical cost, the average production target of about 5.5 million gallons per day now hovered around three million gallons, with quality of water undermined, warning that a time would come they would have to stop production.
Dr. Agyemang Mensah, appealed to the chiefs of communities along River Pra to speak against galamsey and to protect River Pra back to its normal shape to enable the GWCL supply clean water to the people.
The District Chief Executive for Wassa East, Mr. Anthony Aggrey, recounted that about six operations were conducted by the assembly to rid River Pra of illegal mining.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Tarkwa Nsuaem, Mrs. Christina Kobina told the Minister that meetings and operations had been held to combat the galamsey menace yet the practice continued.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Daboase