The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Dapaah, has said government will implement policies on groundwater, take actions and provide relevant services towards effective water supply, to enhance economic activities.
She said government was working to improve the knowledge base and understanding of the hydro-geological setting in the country for reliable groundwater resources information.
MsDapaahgave the assurance yesterday in a speech read on her behalf at the commemoration of the World Water Day (WWD) at Dodowa, in the Shai Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region, which was under the theme: “Groundwater-Making the invisible visible.”
She said government was keen on strengthening policies and regulations,to ensure the protection and long-term sustainability of groundwater, under an integrated water resources management framework.
MsDapaah stated that “Government’s attention is also on strategically strengthening capacity in the technical and institutional aspects of groundwater assessment, planning, development and engaging in national, regional and international cooperation in groundwater management”.
She said there was the need to recognise the relevance of developing, managing and sustainably using groundwater to the benefits of the growing population.
Ms Dapaah said “one of the most urgent socio-economic development issue facing us now is how to secure and manage all our water resources, including surface water and ground water.”
She cautioned the citizenry against polluting and degrading water bodies, adding “illegal mining, deforestation, pollution from both liquid and solid waste disposal, poor land use activities, such as uncontrolled sand wining have deteriorated water quality and degraded water sources thereby affecting the ability of surface water to recharge and protect aquifers for the needed groundwater”.
MsDapaahcalled on Ghanaians to avoid the degradation of the environment and water bodies.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mrs Anne-Claire Dufay,said access to potable water was critical to the survival and development of people, yet the pressure on water resources had intensified.
She noted that the use of groundwater in Ghana, had been limited to domestic use, especially in the rural areas and small towns, adding that about 41 per cent of households in the country depended on groundwater.
Mrs Dufay said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had partnered the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Water Resources Commission, to support the development of integrated climate smart water management and investment plans for the Black Volta and the Oti River basins.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU