Residents of Wassa Amenfi East District of the Western Region are currently bearing the brunt of illegal mining activities (galamsey) which continues to pollute the Pra River.
Since December last year, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has been compelled to ration water to them because the river has turned brownish and muddy, making it difficult for the Daboase water treatment plant to work optimally .
At the moment GWCL is dredging the intake point of the river to enable them harvest more water for production and distribution to the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and beyond.
The GWCL production manager for Western Region, Mr Vincent Opoku Ware Darko who made this known during a media tour of the facility this week painted a gloomy picture of the situation.
“The situation is very bad. Currently, we are producing about 16,000 cubic metres of water daily from Daboase. So you realise that we are losing about 6,000 cubic metres daily,” he told journalists.
What is more? It came to light that about 15 per cent of water drawn from the Pra for treatment was thrown away while water levels at the intake point had reduced drastically from 4.5 metres to 1.0 metres.
“This means that we are losing about 3.5 metres and that is a lot water which could have been extracted for production”, the Communications Manager for GWCL in Western and Central regions, Nana Yaw Barnie, revealed.
This is a disturbing situation that has many implications for the socio-economic life of not just the residents of the area but the entire country for which reason the Ghanaian Times cannot allow it to pass without comment.
It is said that water is life – it is true- humans depend on it for majority of its activities from food, health, economic ventures, amongst others hence its importance can never be lost on us.
That is why out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goal, the sixth was dedicated to water with a calls on countries to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
The situation at Wassa Amenfi East District is an indication that we have a lot of work to do as a country to achieve the goal because even in areas where there are treatment plants, water supply is a challenge.
The solution to this problem, which is depriving us of our comfort and health, lies in the country’s ability to end illegal mining that continues to pollute water bodies across the country.
Although media reports indicate that there have been some setbacks in the fight against the cancer, we cannot give up. We need to re-strategise and fight on –no retreat no surrender.
We must enforce the laws and punish culprits without fear or favour.
We therefore call on the government, civil society and all powers-that-be to return to the drawing table and roll back ‘galamsey’ else posterity will judge us for failing our nation.
We must avert the Daboase Water Treatment Plant danger before it is too late.