The effect of illegal mining activities (galamsey) on water supply in the Wassa Amenfi East District of the Western Region is worsening asthe contamination of the Pra River continues.
Since December last year, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has been compelled to ration water to residents in the areas since the river had become brownish and muddy , posing threat to the Daboase Water Treatment Plant and increasing cost of water production.
The GWCL production manager for Western Region, Mr Vincent Opoku Ware Darko who made this known has therefore called on the government for urgent action to halt illegal mining activities to safeguard the country’s water system from further pollution.
These came to light when he conducted journalists around the water intake point of the company at Daboase to have first hand view of the negative effect of the illegal mining activities.
He said a looming disaster was awaiting the nation as far as the nation’s water bodies were concerned adding that at the moment GWCL was dredging the intake point to harvest more water for production and distribution to the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and beyond.
“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.”
Due to galamsey activities, there are a lot of silt in-built at the intake site. But, we are doing our best to produce enough water by dredging the area and, hopefully, the situation will improve and with the onset of the rains in April, there will be no need rationing,” he said.
He added that lack of inflows upstream had made it difficult for the plant to work at optimum levels hence the need for the rationing of water produced.
According to Mr Darko, the River Pra took its source from the Bono, Ashanti,and Central regions and to Western Region where it entered the sea at Beposo and therefore, what happened upstream affected Daboase water systems.
He reported that dredging at the intake point was about 45 per cent completed and assured that the exercise would end today.
The Communications Manager for GWCL in Western and Central regions, Nana Yaw Barnie, also maintained that the situation at the Daboase water plant had been an annual affair which threatened the credibility of water produced at intake point.
He revealed that about 15 per cent of water drawn from Pra for treatment was thrown away, adding that water levels at the intake point and reduced drastically from 4. 5 metres to 1.0 metres.
“This means that we are losing about 3.5 metres and that’s a lot water which could have been extracted for production. Even at 1.0 metres, we could still extract water, but, due to siltation we have challenges that’s why we have decided to undertake the dredging to create space for more water,” Nana Barnie explained.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, DABOASE