Regardless of the fact that some countries with fewer water bodies provide sufficient water both for domestic and industrial purposes, Ghanaians have been asked to bank their hopes on rain water to tackle the seeming water crisis being experienced in some parts of the country.
The hardest hit is the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipality in the Eastern Region where the Densu river has dried up considerably.
Although the challenges with inadequate supply of water has been largely blamed on pollution of water bodies, low investment in the sector and in some cases, changes in weather patterns, the Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Sampson Ahi, says the challenge with water is largely natural, because “we are in the dry season.”
Residents of Nsawam-Adoagyiri have had no access to potable water for more than a month and fear there could be an outbreak of cholera and other communicable diseases.
Some residents have been left with no choice but to drink from a contaminated tributary of the river. The Densu is suspected to have dried up due to farming and illegal mining activities along the banks, coupled with the harmattan condition. Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Ahi suggested that we put our hope in the probability of rainfall.
“As a result of the long periods of the harmattan, most of the river bodies have dried up and this is a natural thing… we hope that it rains as soon as possible so that we would have rain water in the river.”
Despite urging Ghanians to hope for rain, the Deputy Minister also took time to outline the practical measures government was putting in place to deal with illegal mining and the felling of trees, which he said have also contributed to the drying up of the rivers.
He debunked suggestions that government was unconcerned about the situation for which reasons the situation has been left to escalate. “Over the years, we have made several attempts to get rid of illegal mining in the river bodies but I don’t think that it is because government is unconcerned that we find ourselves in this situation.
At some of the river bodies, they are planting trees, they are growing creeping plants to ensure that we reclaim the vegetative part of our river bodies,” he added.
He insisted that government had a plan to combat the pollution of water bodies and added that government had an intervention plan to cater for the affected people, which includes the supply of water via tankers, drilling of boreholes and dredging the river to ensure the free flow of water.
“…It is not entirely true that we are not doing anything about the activities going on which undermine the flow of water. If we are unable to supply enough water, we will consider drilling as a matter of urgency and have boreholes to complement whatever we do and have at the moment.”
The Deputy Minister in conclusion reiterated his call on Ghanaians to hope for the rains. “In the meantime, let’s hope that it rains. If it doesn’t, emergency steps will be taken to ensure that we supply water to the people who are effected.”