A report by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has indicated that the company in the first quarter of 2018 incurred some 50 percent operational losses, especially in the regions where alluvial mining is prevalent.
It said the pollution of our water bodies from ‘galamsey’ has impacted negatively on the operation of the GWCL and in that, the deterioration of raw water quality has affected the quality that is abstracted.
The resultant effect, is also due to frequent unscheduled shut downs and high maintenance costs.
These, have culminated into lack of consumer confidence in the quality of water supplied to customers along with low revenue generation to recover cost and a threat to public health.
Currently, the cost of water production by GWCL is at GHS27 per cubic meter.
The report warned, a threat looms to the economy, national development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
‘’There is also a threat to food and energy security which could result in poor livelihood choices and educational opportunities,’’ it noted.
Currently, the Bunso Water Treatment Plant in the Eastern Region has on September 4 been shut down, due to illegal mining activities in the area.
The GWCL was compelled to shut down the plant as a result of high pollution, making its treatment expensive.
The treatment plant derives its water from upstream Birim River and produces about 60,000 gallons of potable water per day.
Joseph Kofi Adda, immediate past Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources in a report revealed that nearly 30 percent of boreholes across the country are broken down or not functioning properly.
He said illegal mining activities and the inability to treat water coming out of the boreholes has also adversely affected many river bodies.
According to him, the ministry, through the Water and Sanitation Agency has completed processes for the award of contracts for the drilling of 2,000 boreholes throughout the country. While some are to be fitted with hand pumps, others would be mechanized to fit into small town water systems.
Adda said cabinet has prepared a memorandum for the consideration of the Sogakope-Lome water projects, for the drilling and mechanization of 5,000 and 3,000 boreholes respectively, in two different instances.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah