All steps must be taken to protect and conserve all of Ghana’s fresh water bodies across the country in order to avoid shortage of the resource in the future, Ben Ampomah, Executive Secretary of Water Resources Commission (WRC) of Ghana said here on Thursday.

Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the National Level Learning Alliance Platform (NALLAP) of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector in Ghana, Ampomah said there is the need to reverse the current trend of water pollution in the country, and water importation is not an option Ghanaians should consider now or in the future.

The Goal 6.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demands that countries improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials into water, halving the proportion of untreated waste water, and increase recycling and safe reuse of water globally by 2030.

But the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) says it has had to spend far higher than usual in treating water for consumption due to pollution of Ghana’s fresh water sources as some organizations have warned that at the rate of pollution of Ghana’s water bodies are going the country could be importing water by 2030.

“The only option for us is to protect our water resources in order to avoid a future shortage. In other jurisdictions, water is treated as a national security issue, and we can also do that,” Ampomah urged.

Water pollution in Ghana is mainly caused by illegal mining, unsafe farming and fishing methods, illegal logging and lumbering, bush fires and some construction activities.

Ampomah said this high level of water pollution started in 2010 with the increase in illegal mining activities, calling for a cross-sectoral approach in dealing with the issue.

“The pollution is more intense in the mining areas and regions where minerals are found,” the Executive Secretary observed.

He said all sectors that have anything to do with land use, environmental pollution and degradation among others as well as Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) should team up and devise effective ways of dealing with the water pollution issues in the country.

Meanwhile the Afrobarometer report issued here by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana to coincide with the World Water Day celebrations said the proportion of people living without adequate clean water had reduced to about a quarter or 26 percent of the population.

This was contained in its Round six Afrobarometer report carried out in 2014 adding that these people included one in every 12 (8 percent) who experienced water shortages “many times” or “always.”

“The proportion of citizens going without enough clean water has gradually decreased over the past 15 years, from 42 in 2002 to 26 in 2014. Seven out of 10 Ghanaians (70 percent) live in areas served by piped-water systems, while three out of 10 (30 percent) do not.

“Urban residents are almost twice as likely to have access to a piped-water system as their rural counterparts (89 percent vs. 47 percent),” the report indicated. Enditem

Source: Justice Lee Adoboe, Xinhua/