Editorial: Sekondi-Takoradi water problem must be permanently resolved
Residents of Sekondi-Takoradi are reportedly experiencing erratic supply of water due to the low inflow into the reservoir at Inchaban for subsequent treatment and supply to the people. According to the Daily Graphic report, officials of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) are attributing the development to low rainfall recorded within the catchment area of the dam this year.
The GWCL is, therefore, advising the residents of the Twin-City and adjourning municipalities, which depend on the dam for supply of potable water, to conserve water because it does not know the exact time the flow of water into the dam would improve.
The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis has, over the years, depended on two dams – Inchaban and Daboase – for the supply of water. But because of population explosion as a result of expansion of the local economy, supply from these dams is no more adequate.
What has even exacerbated the situation is illegal mining activities around the catchment area of River Pra, resulting in massive pollution of the water.
Sometimes, the water would flow into the two dams all right, but the turbidity level, as a result of the mining activities, will be so poor that the GWCL cannot harvest the water for treatment and supply to the people.
It is upon the basis of this that the government declared war on illegal mining activities in the country. Unfortunately, those who were to help the President battle the menace were, themselves, involved in the illegal business, thus making the fight even more difficult.
Though the turbidity level of the water in the reservoir, as published by the paper, is not the best, The Chronicle is happy that the GWCL officials are not attributing the situation that has led to the water scarcity to the mining activities in the area. They seem to be blaming nature, because, according to them, the rainfall pattern has not been the best this year.
This does not, however, mean that the illegal miners should be allowed to operate in the catchment area of the dam. Despite all the lapses in the fight against illegal mining, the state should not be despaired, but rather keep on fighting till a solution is found to the problem, because, as the adage goes, ‘water is life’.
But, whilst dealing with the galamsey menace, The Chronicle suggests to the government to start thinking about how to improve water supply to the Metropolis.
As we earlier indicated, the population of Sekondi-Takoradi is bloating because of the oil find, which is driving a number of businesses to the area. This means the government must be forward thinking by adopting a strategy to improve upon the water supply.
The Western Region can boast of two major rivers – Pra and Ankobra. If the Pra River, which is currently supplying water, cannot be relied upon, then steps must be taken to start tapping water from the Ankobrah River.
Some years back, Cape Coast was experiencing the same water problems, but after the government had taken the bold decision to extract water from the Pra for treatment and supply to the Metropolis, the problem has been permanently resolved.
This is what the government must do to Sekondi-Takoradi as well. We should not sit down for the situation to get out of hand before we start thinking about what to do.