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Water shortage hits Cape Coast

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Water shortage hits Cape Coast

Water shortage has hit Cape Coast and surrounding towns in the Central region due to illegal mining which has affected River Pra.

According to Joy FM's report, residents hunt for water as the taps have run dry – because the Sekyere-Hermang water treatment plant is choked.

The plant in the Western region, built in 2008 for €40m, sips a portion of the 240km Pra River and treats it for onward pumping into Brimsu waterworks in Cape coast.

From the waterworks, an expansive water distribution network allows treated water to arrive in homes in Ayensudo, Attabadze, Komenda, Edina-Eguafo-Abrem and Cape Coast all in the Central region.

The Sekyere-Hermang water treatment plant pumps 2million gallons of water every day for Cape Coast and its environs. But source of the treatment plant, the Pra River is Ghana’s poster picture of the effects of illegal mining.

Ghanaian collaborators and foreigners, mainly Asians have pursued their dreams of gold and turned the river into a nightmare of poisoned streams. A reckless search for rich minerals has left the communities poorer.

The waterbed is left unsettled, poisonous chemicals are drained into the river, affecting fish stock. There was a report of an increase in typhoid fever traced to the use of polluted Komkowu river in the Amansie West district of the Ashanti region.

Chief Manager of the Ghana Water Company (GWC), Emmanuel Kofi Opoku, told the reporter “unfortunately, the galamsey activities has made siltation and turgidity very heavy. As a result our pumps have become faulty.”

Cape Coast and its environs hold about 200,000 residents and the faulty pumps has left at least half of the city and its environs without water. Elmina is among the worst hit towns as the crisis enters its fourth week.

The Ghana Water Company has ordered for a decommission pump from Tamale to help deal with the choked pumps, he said.

It costs more to treat turgid water and less water is made available for consumption as more goes waste, the GWC MD Dr. Clifford Braimah complained. “We are not even able to meet our operational cost.”

Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources Cecilia Abena Dapaah charged residents to be vigilant in reporting the activities of the “bad and evil” miners. She said a taskforce will be put in place to police the activities on the Pra river.

The government has waged a fight against illegal mining since August 2017, putting soldiers and police officers on the ground to roam and comb Ghana’s four mining zones.

Ghana Water Company blames dumsor for shortage in supply

The Ghana Water Company has blamed the frequent power outages (dumsor) in the country for the shortage in supply of water.

Reports indicated that parts Accra West, Tamale and Cape Coast are without water supply for some time now.

Speaking to the issue on Citi FM's Breakfast show on Thursday, May 9, Director of the Ghana Water Company Dr Clifford Braimah said the major cause of the shortage in supply is electricity.

Explaining the Northern sector aspect of the situation he said electricity and sand winning is responsible for it.

"The equipment was installed 1966, 1966 the company still manages to run it, whether we like it or not the efficiency has dropped drastically, what are we to be doing to make this work?.......there is history to managing the water utility in Ghana but we've gotten to a point where the modules will have to change and how do you get it to be changed? our staff need to be worked on, the policymakers need to reorient themselves, a lot of things are happening, for example if you go to Tamale we have a capacity of 45,000 cubic meters a day, just electricity, NEDCO because they are unable to give us adequate power for the last three months we have been doing below 50% of what we can do, we had a dedicated line from Tamale just going into ....... and Awuni, NEDCO has now taken power from that line to Nyapkala...........and surrounding villages but they haven't increased the load on the line and when the power fluctuates our system do down at a point we were even doing 16,000 cubic meters a day so there is nowhere you can meet the demand of Tamale..."

He said the "power situation is affecting everybody so it's a common denominator".

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