The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, says plans are underway to expand the Weija Water Treatment Plant (WTP) to serve more people as the Greater Accra Region’s population keeps growing.
Currently, she said the region had more than 4.5 million people, adding that the expansion project’s engineering works and feasibility studies had already been done.
The minister disclosed these yesterday, during a tour of the plant with Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister for Water and Forests, Mr Laurent Tchagba and his delegation, to introduce the facility to them, as part of steps to collaborate with Ghana’s neighbouring countries for proper water system management.
According to Mrs Dapaah, there was the need to plan ahead and execute strategies as the population grew so “anytime we want to start a project, we take into consideration what could happen in terms of population growth in 10 or more years to come.”
She indicated that Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana had reached a mutual understanding to ensure water bodies in the two countries were free from pollution, as a result of uncontrolled use of pesticides and weedicides by farmers, illegal mining and other activities.
These chemicals, she said, ended up also killing aquatic lives hence “the two heads of state with the determination to free our water bodies of these harmful chemicals have agreed to give of our best in ensuring our water bodies are preserved for the safety of mankind.”
Touching on the relevance of safe water, the minister stressed that the government was in a haste to meet the Sustainable Development Goal Six targeting access to safe and sustainable management of water for all by 2030.
She said “we are using all means possible to ensure access to potable water will not be a problem for anybody in this country. Since we sometimes employ a rationing method to serve the populace especially during the dry season, we encourage the public to adopt the habit of storing water for future use.”
The minister assured that her outfit was closely monitoring activities of borehole drillers in the country in efforts to make sure persons who depended on water from boreholes were drinking, and using safe water as some boreholes produced water with too much iron and heavy metals.
Mr Tchagba expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources for the reception and the tour which he described as mind-opening.
He observed that despite having the same water treatment methods in his country, he had learnt a lot from Ghana’s water management policies.
He assured that the ties between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire would continue to be strengthened, as the two countries implement measures to address issues bothering their transboundary water systems.
Station Manager of the Weija WTP, Mr John Koppoe, in his remarks said the Weija WTP was sited 120 metres above sea level and delivered water into the distribution mains by gravity, for supply to the western parts of the Greater Accra Region and several other communities including Kasoa in the Central Region of the country.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU