The Ghana Water Company Limited(GWCL) has been left with no other option than to shut down its water processing plant in Bunso due to the pollution of the Birim River by illegal mining activities.
The shut down has affected the production capacity of the GWCL depriving many communities access to potable water.
The pollution of the River has raised the raw water turbidity to an untreatable level thereby crippling the ability of the Bunso Water Treatment plant to reach its daily 100,000-gallon production capacity to the Bunso Township, cocoa college, parts of Osiem and Nsutem.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Regional branch of GWCL, Kwadwo Daase, the decision to shut down the plant became necessary because the raw water turbidity has worsened further from 6750 NTU to about 11,000NTU from Tuesday, September 4 to September 5, 2018 far above treatable capacity.
“Yesterday around 6 pm we observed that the raw water that feeds the plant for continuous treatment and supply to the People of Bunso, Atukrom, Nsutem, Osiem and Bunso Junction area, we realized the turbidity has increased drastically around 6750NTU then even this morning it is around 11,000NTU”.
He said it is highly suspected that some illegal miners have resurfaced on the upstream of the Birim River mining directly in it.
“We suspect, and it has always been the case that the intensive illegal mining is going on in the upstream of the Birim River.”
According to him, the turbidity of the river often rises, leading to the intermittent suspension of production for some hours but the recent pollution has become incessantly high for the past two days.