A two-day joint ministerial working visit to Central and Western regions
A delegation led by the Sector Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah together with the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources [Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor, MP], and the Minister for Information [Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, MP] on Monday 19th April, 2022 paid a working visit to the central and western regions to monitor activities of the water treatment plant and intake points in Sekyere Hemang and Daboase.
This was part of the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources’ two (2) day working visit purposely to assess water treatment plants affected by galamsey activities and to hold press briefings to express Government’s resolve to tackle activities of illegal mining (Galamsey) on our water bodies and to reverse the effects thereof.
Their first stop was at the Central Regional Coordinating Council and were met by the Central Regional Minister [Mrs. Justina Marigold Assan] and Her team, who joined in the visits to the aforementioned sites.
AT THE SEKYERE HEMANG TREATMENT PLANT AND INTAKE POINT
At Sekyere, a presentation by officials of GWCL highlighted the shortfalls in production capacity which was as a result of the incidence of illegal mining activities on the Pra River. Officials of the GWCL at the treatment station revealed the turbidity level — which means the relative clarity of a liquid —had reached disturbing levels from about 500-800NTU at the time of construction in 2008 to about 1,500 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU).
The impulse of this was the increasing cost of production and maintenance due to the increasing difficulty in water treatment.
The Sector Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, used the opportunity to call and appeal to the chiefs, opinion leaders and all stakeholders to help sensitize affected communities on the need to abandon unfavorable mining activities that pose dangers and continue to adversely affect our water bodies and treatment plants.
“A change in attitude and the adoption of positive and collective approach in dealing with the challenges we are faced with would be a step in the right direction” She added.
The representatives of the chief of Sekyere, although lamenting over the poor state of the River however expressed their joy in the efforts being made towards making the Pra River clean. They gave assurance of the support of the chief in the fight to return the Pra River to normalcy.
AT THE DABOASE AND INCHABAN WATER TREATMENT PLANT AND INTAKE POINT.
The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and the surrounding towns/communities are supplied with water from Ghana Water Company Limited’s two (2) Headworks at Daboase and Inchaban. The intake point was receiving high levels of sludge, which makes production expensive and difficult. Reason for the high levels of sludge is attributed to the activities of galamsey on the Pra River.
Joined by the Regional Minister for the Western Region [Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, MP], the delegation stopped over at Daboase and held a press briefing to explain the operations of the treatment plant and to communicate government’s position on the activities of galamsey on the Pra River.
Ing. Ampomah [an official of WRC] gave a brief on the water treatment plant at Daboase whose aim, he said, was to focus on managing water quality with the view to improve on water bodies. He drew a contrast between the period in which activities of galamsey were banned and the period in which the ban was eased. The findings presented enough evidence to suggest the fight against galamsey would yield positive results. This he said will translate into reduced turbidity of our water bodies and thus lead to cleaner and safer water resources.
Mrs. Justina Marigold Assan [Central Regional Minister], said the region was “more than ready to assist in the fight against galamsey head-on” and reiterated their unflinching support in getting things done.
Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, MP and Regional Minister for the Western Region also mentioned that he expects the affected communities to assist in the fight towards a clean and safer Pra. He added “we will pursue this to the later”
“Government wants to promote regulated Small-Scale mining” – Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor [Minister for Lands and Natural Resources]. The statement was to bring home the understanding that, the President of the republic, H.E. Nana Addi Dankwa Akuffo Addo isn’t against Small Scale mining but against unregulated mining. Regulated mining, he stressed, ensures the safety of the miners and our natural resources (i.e., water, forest and land).
He further explained, that progress had been made in the fight against galamsey and pointed to the need for a National Consensus and Support towards Regulated Small Scale mining which contributes to the forward match of the economy and which will ensure that the right energies are marshalled against the destruction of our water bodies.
While delivering the key note address, the minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah explained that, the abundance of water resources does not mean an excuse for wastage. She added “we need to support government in the fight against galamsey and this will only happen if we become active citizens” and that “destruction of water bodies must stop, and this will stop under the able leadership of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo.”
The Joint Ministerial Team comprising the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources [Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah], and The Western Regional Minster [Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, MP] on Tuesday April 21, 2021 made stops at Bonsa in Tarkwa, Dominase and the Ankobra bridge to examine conditions on the Pra and Ankobra rivers. The inspection was to ascertain the truth on the effects on Galamsey on the water bodies.
Calling on stakeholders for support, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, said “we will have no water to treatment anymore if we don’t take serious measures in dealing with.
PICTURES OF ACTIVITES