The Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing, has suggested that an immediate court injunction be placed on all development activities currently taking place around the Owabi Dam.

Physical developments including construction of houses and other farming activities around the catchment area, according to the Committee, is threatening its future sustainability and that resorting to a legal embargo to restrain such activities would help to prevent a catastrophe.

The Dam used to be the only main source of potable drinking water for the residents of Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city, until the construction of the Barekese Dam in 1971.

Its depth used to be 22.5 meters, but currently, had shrunk to only 6.5 meters due to the continuous human activities – water pollution, destruction and encroachment.

Joseph Nana Amoako, Chairperson of the Committee, said although those who had put up structures at the buffer zone had already been summoned at the law court, there was “the need for further legal action to prevent new developers who have acquired the land for same purposes.”

“In this regard, whoever is found guilty would be liable for contempt of court,” he told the media at Bokankye-Sennie in the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality, after a tour of the Dam

The suggestion comes barely a month after the Ashanti Regional Security Council’s (REGSEC) proposal that the enclave be declared a security zone given the rate at which the area was being encroached.

The Committee is on a working visit to inspect projects under its jurisdiction – identifying challenges and coming out with the requisite solutions for sustainable development.

Nana Amoako, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Upper Denkyira-East, reminded the citizenry that the Owabi Dam enclave by law was the property of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).

“If the issue of encroachment is not dealt with head-on, it would come to a time when the Dam would have to be closed down,” he told the media.

He decried the increasing water shortage and interruption in electricity supply due to the destructive activities taking place, reiterating that, the government indeed “has to declare the Dam a security zone.”

The Committee, as part of its work, also inspected a ground water system at Tepa, the Barekese and Owabi Dams.

He expressed his displeasure, particularly, about his observation at the Owabi Dam site, which was also engulfed in filth with plenty plastic waste on the surface of the water body.

Nana Amoako indicated that as the nation strived to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Six, which ensured that every household had access to potable drinking water, it was demanded of all and sundry to help in protecting the Dam.

The Committee, accompanied by the Regional Heads of the GWCL, had earlier called on the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah.

On the Barekese Dam, the Chairman stressed the need for the GWCL management to advise those farming around the Dam to desist from such acts.

He explained that such activities could lead to further decrease in the water volume – posing serious challenge to the about 30 million gallons it produced daily.

Mr Osei-Mensah said the Regional Coordinating Council has already petitioned the Minister for National Security to declare all water treatment plants and adjoining buffer enclaves as security zones.

He used the occasion to call on the Hydrological Department to speed up works on bridges in some parts of the city to minimize the incidence of flooding.

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