The Director of Planning at the Water Resources Commission, Dr Bob Alfa, has issued a stark warning that if illegal mining activities commonly known as galamsey are not dealt with within the next six months, the Ghana Water Company Limited will not be able to provide treated water for various households.
“In the short term, we will not get treated water at all, and we will have to shut down, most of the equipment will be destroyed,” Dr Alfa said during a Citi TV roundtable discussion on illegal mining.
Dr Alfa added that “in the long term, agriculture will be affected, food security will be affected, and economic growth will suffer…It is a complete system and our livelihood is on the line as well.”
Mr. Alfa also revealed that Ghana is already importing water, saying that “when we say Ghana is importing water, we often look at the physical importation, but on the face of it, that is already happening. We are importing labour and tools into our water supply mechanisms.”
“Whatever we consume is produced with water and if you don’t develop your water resources, and then you import some country’s products, what you are importing is what they have done as far as their water development is concerned.”
The Citi Galamsey Dialogue dubbed “Galamsey and Ghana’s Water Security” brought together important stakeholders in the water sector to deliberate on the state of Ghana’s water resources and examine the effects of illegal mining on Ghana’s water security.
An Environmental Scientist and toxicologist, Professor Chris Gordon and Dr Adwoa Yirenkyi Fianko, a Senior Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) also spoke at the event.