Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has started rationing water to residents of Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, in the Western Region, due to challenges it is facing in its operations, including dry weather and illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.
The company has begun the rationing, which takes place from Mondays to Sundays.
The Daboase and Inchaban Water Headwork produce 10 million gallons of water daily, but this had reduced to about 3.4 million gallons.
When journalists went to River Pra, which is the source of water for the headwork, they saw illegal miners operating along the river with drilling machines.
“The water level has gone down due to dry weather, but the galamsey activities have also worsened the situation.As you can see, they have dug deep into River Pra, leaving heaps of sand at the banks. Water level should be at about at least 4.5 metres with average of 1.67 metres, but, now we can’t even measure”, the Chief Regional Manager of the GWCL, Mr. Mark Teiko Cudjoe told journalists.
The colour and turbidity (cloudiness) of water had also worsened, he added.
Mr. Cudjoe said that due to heavy siltation in the river, the company had to dredge the intake point at the cost of GH¢50,000, for three days to meet the shortfall in water supply, which meant additional cost to the company’s operations.
“We use about 50 bags of aluminum sulphate, but now we use 100 bags, almost doubled for the same quantity of water.”
Mr. Cudjoe assured customers that the laboratory analysis was in conformity with World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines.
Meanwhile, a visit to the Bosomase Intake Point, indicated that siltation had caused the breakdown of one of the two pumps.
Mr.Cudjoe said “We can’t get the quantum of water we need because of galamsey. The river banks have been expanded and the illegal miners have dammed the River Pra for gold. We need a national dialogue on the matter. Beyond rationing, we may have to go down”.
He, however, assured the public that the water situation in the metropolis had not reached crisis level.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Daboase