The Ghana Water Company Limited in the Eastern Region says activities of illegal small scale miners, popularly referred to as galamsey, continue to hinder water operations.
Currently, the water company is rationing water in most parts of the region and has on numerous occasions shut down water treatment plants at Osino, Bunso, and Kyebi as a result of activities of illegal miners.
As Ghana joins the rest of the world today to commemorate World Water Day, the Eastern Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Water Company Limited, Kwadwo Daase hopes that there is a lasting solution to the galamsey menace which affects its operations.
“The challenge with production and supply of water for us on World Water Day is the raw water source that is the rivers and water bodies which serve as the raw materials for us and our concern for years is the impact of illegal mining or galamsey on these water bodies. Anytime we are celebrating World Water Day, we wish that we don’t talk about this menace which is still persisting in areas like Osino, Busum etc. Our plant there has to be suspended several times.”
He however called on residents to bear with the water company as it continues with its water demand schedules.
“The water supply cannot meet the demand in Koforidua, Somanya, Odumasi areas, etc. The advent of COVID-19 and the need for people to use water has increased the demand for water. We have stretched our plants to the elastic limit so we only have to deal with the only little we have, that is why we are trying to put in this water demand management schedule; whereby we supply this area for two or three days, and we revert to the other side of town which is really helping. There were complaints all over that two or three weeks we are not getting water and when we started this the people are appreciating it. ”
In January 2021, Mr Kwadwo Daase called on the government to streamline the activities of the illegal miners and some road contractors which was affecting water supply.
The GWCL had to shut down the Kyebi treatment plant due to high turbidity as a result of the activities of illegal miners operating along the Birim River.