Security personnel to guard Weija Dam

, SECURITY personnel are to be permanently deployed to the Weija Dam, to protect and halt human activities around it.

Among their mandate is to stop all quarrying activities around the dam, halt cage fishing and encroachment on the dam.

The Principal Basin Officer of the Densu Basin at the Water Resources Commission (WRC), Ronald Abrahams, who disclosed this at a symposium on World Water Day (WWD) in Accra yesterday, said it had become necessary to station security personnel at the dam, in view of the its frequent pollution.

Currently, a structure is being constructed to house the personnel, he said, explaining that it would be completed in two months to enable the deployment of the personnel.

He explained that the move formed part of measures by the WRC to protect all water sources in the country.

He warned that the Dam if not protected would have security implications on the state and create water-stressed country.

Located in the Ga South Municipality along the Accra-Winneba road, the Weija Dam is the only source of water for the Weija Treatment Plant, which supplies water for residents in Accra.

The Ghana Water Company Limited has expressed concern over the increasing cost of treating water from the Weija Dam due to the continuous pollution of the dam.

Mr Abrahams called for the judicious use of water resources in the country and the need to protect the country’s eco-system for the current generation and posterity.

The Country Representative of WaterAid Ghana, Dr Afia Zakiya, said access to clean water and sanitation facilities was essential for public health.

She called for equitable distribution of water and the provision of sanitation facilities for schools in the country to promote the health of students and pupils.

The United Nations Resident Co-ordinator, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, in a speech read on her behalf lauded Ghana for the progress made to supply water to all the citizenry, and entreated the government to do more to ensure that the over 4.5 million Ghanaians who did not have access to potable were provided with water.

The Chairman of the WRC, Professor Agyewodin Adu Gyamfi Ampemg, who chaired the function, called on all stakeholders to support the government to clamp down on the activities of illegal miners, whose activities were having a heavy toll on water bodies in the country.

He said the country’s water resources needed to be protected for the development of the country and the benefit of posterity.

Reacting to accusation that traditional leaders were not doing enough to combat galamsey, Prof Ampemg, who is the Chief of Acherensua in the Brong Ahafo Region, said “it is not chiefs who give permits to individuals and companies to mine”.

The out-going Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda, said the theme for this year’s WWD was important, and therefore, stressed the need for collaboration among all stakeholders to protect the country’s water resources.

He said the continuous pollution of water bodies pose a threat to the country and called for efforts to check to practice.

As part of the programme the 2015 National Junior Water Prize Competition was launched to recognise pupils between 13 and 15 who had develop innovative ideas to protect water.

Also, schools which participated in a tree planting as part of the 2014 WWD were presented with certificates and other souvenirs. Awards were given to organisations which sponsored this year’s WWD.

The symposium organised by the National Planning Committee on the World Water Day (WWD) celebration, formed part of activities to climax the WWD and was under the theme, “Water and Sustainable Development”.

It was attended by pupils, civil and community based organisations, non-governmental organisations and international organisations, traditional leaders as well as the media.

By Kingsleya Asare

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