The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in the Western Region says the quality of water from the Pra River that is abstracted, treated and supplied to residents of Sekondi- Takoradi is getting worse day by day due to the activities of illegal miners.
Currently, the laboratory analysis by GWCL shows very high turbidity and colour values. The current Turbidity of the Pra River is 3,000 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Unit) while the colour is 9,014 HU (Hezen Units).
In an interview with B&FT, the Communications Manager of the company in charge of Western and Central Regions, Nana Yaw Barima Barnie, said if the current trend continues unchecked it will get to a point where the company can no longer treat the Pra River to produce safe drinking water.
He explained that very soon the water pumps will not even be able abstract this kind of excessively polluted water, since they were designed to abstract water and not to de-silt it.
“The kind of water that is abstracted sometimes looks like mud, which is not meant for the pumps to abstract; and if it continues this way, the plant may be shut down as happened in the Eastern Region during the past. And that is the danger we are all facing in the country in terms of water supply,” he added.
“If it gets to a point where because of the activities of these illegal miners the quality of water is so bad that we cannot treat it, all they can do is to shut down the plant. And can you imagine what the repercussions will be if we have to shut down the plant even for one day? What will happen to the hospitals, schools and other institutions which rely so much on our water?” he asked.
He called for swift interventions to deal with the galamsey situation, as a lack of them will have dire consequences for the people in Sekondi-Takoradi – and by extension the entire nation.
“These galamsey activities are all over the country. The ban on galamsey was instituted five years ago, and there is no sign that we are winning the battle. We are destroying our own lives because water, they say, is life – and no human being can live the whole day without using water for one thing or another. Unfortunately, as a people we appear helpless in this situation,” he lamented.
He pointed out that the quality of water in all the river-bodies is deteriorating, and it behoves all stakeholders to help fight this menace of galamsey if the country’s future is to be secured.