The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has warned that it will be forced to halt the production and supply of water if illegal small scale mining, also known as galamsey, is not stopped.
Galamsey has cost the nation a great deal through the destruction of vast farmlands and the pollution of valuable water bodies.
Many of these water bodies serve as sources from which GWCL draws and treats water to supply to residents.
But the Company is announcing an imminent shutdown if the problem persists.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Western Regional Chief Manager of GWCL, Ing. Francis Agyei-Boateng, said although the rationing of water around this time each year is a regular occurrence, he lamented that it has been worse due to galamsey.
“Galamsey is a threat to water supply in Ghana. As a country, if we do not so something about it then in years to come, it is going to be very difficult for us to produce water to citizens in Ghana. Operations have been normal until the last couple of weeks when we were hit by the conditions that have impacted our operations.”
“…the effects of Galamsey is compelling us to ration water. We are now producing about 40 to 50 percent of our normal production. It is a very bad situation that Galamsey is having on our operations…Until Galamsey started in earnest, we did not have problems with that.”
He said in the past, during the dry season, when water levels drop significantly, they are still able to abstract quality raw water but Galamsey “is really having a negative impact on our operations.”
Meanwhile, Manager in charge of GWCL for the Northern Region, Amidu Musah has said that although the GWCL is producing at full capacity it will not be able to adequately provide for residents in Tamale facing water challenges.
According to him, the dry season is putting a lot of pressure on GWCL as other alternative water sources for residents have dried up.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Mr. Musah advised residents to use water judiciously.
“We are producing full capacity. My advice is that around this time, we all have to use water judiciously. We should not water our cars with hose. We should not water our lawns so that the little we have we can manage. In fact, we have even been lucky. Power has been quite stable in Tamale.”‘
GWCL began rationing water in Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region, as a result of the dry season.
The Regional Communications Manager of GWCL, Nana Yaw Barima Barnie told Citi News that the situation will normalize when the rainy season sets in.
“I must say that this is unfortunate but that is the best way we can ensure that everybody gets their first share of the water because if we don’t do the rationing, what is going to happen is that because the pressures are going to be low due to the low quantities of water we are producing, only residents or customers who live in low line areas or those who live close to our reservoirs will be getting the water.
“And I would please urge our customers especially those in Takoradi to endeavour to get storage facilities. We are going to continue with this rationing until the rains start coming in,” he emphasized.