The Ghana Urban Water Limited (GUWL), has shut down the Kibi Water Plant which supplies water to the East Akim Municipality and its surrounding environs, due to illegal mining activities.
The plant was shut down barely a week after the Eastern Regional Production Office of GUWL expressed grave concern about the sterility of the water bodies in the municipality, as a result of ‘galamsey’.
Speaking to The Ghanaian Times on Tuesday, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr. Abraham Otabil, said the move was necessary to save the plant from total collapse.
According to him, other plants such as the Kyebi Treatment Plant, Barekese Damand Daboase Water Treatment Plant had also come under similar attacks and would be shut down if the ‘galamsey’activities persisted.
He said the illegal mining activities had made it difficult for the water treatment plants to operate efficiently, as they were seriously hampering the production of quality drinking water from the muddy river sources.
The Regional Production Manager of GUWL, Martin K. Ansah-Asante, last week, told an Accra-based newspaper that the activities of the illegal miners had notoriously gained grounds in the area, and the quality and quantity of water production was being compromised.
According to him, instead of 24 hours water production, the Kibi water plant could only produce for three hours a day, because of the muddy nature of the raw water, making production difficult.
Apart from the difficulties of accessing clean raw water for production, the Regional Manager also lamented over the cost of production facing the GUWL in recent times, and called on the government, particularly the sector responsible for curbing illegal mining activities, to step up efforts to remedy the situation.
“The current water situation leaves much to be desired, considering the gross disrespect of nearby inhabitants, particularly, the youth, who are engaged in the illegal mining activities, to water bodies in the area.
“The illegal miners wash the raw material in any source of water body they cast their eyes on to get the precious metal,” he stressed.
According to him, these activities have polluted almost all the water bodies in the area, threatening the quality of drinking water for both human beings and animals.
By Charles Amankwa