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Ghana at risk of serious water crises as galamsey activities continue to pose major threat – Sanitation Minister cries

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Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Dapaah

Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah has indicated that the current major challenge facing Ghana’s Water Delivery System is the activities of illegal miners.

According to the Minister, the activities of illegal miners, widely known as galamsey, if not seriously brought under control will put the country at risk of serious water crisis.

Cecilia Abena Dapaah made this known when she took her turn at the Ministers’ Press Briefing at the Information Ministry on Monday to address the public on the recent developments in the Water and Sanitation subsectors.

Addressing the media, Cecilia Abena Dapaah explained that the activities of illegal miners such as mining in and on the shores of rivers, diverting the natural pathways of waterbodies, the usage of poisonous chemicals among others are putting the quality and quantity of Ghana’s water resources are risk.

The minister further reiterated that due to the illegal mining which has muddied most of the country’s river bodies which serve as sources for the Ghana Water Company, treatment of such water has become very expensive thereby increasing the burden of the water company to provide potable water at affordable prices to households.

She therefore stressed that protecting the country’s water resources must be the collective responsibility of the citizenry and not the preserve of ministries, agencies and the security forces.

To avert, a possible water crisis posed by the illegal mining activities, the minister noted that the ministry on their part will collaborate with the relevant agencies to curb the menace and bring perpetrators to face the law.

“The biggest and the most serious challenge is this phenomenon of illegal mining or galamsey on our water bodies. This has created huge problems for our water systems, and our concerns, I must stress that if we are borrowing close to USD1 billion for projects, and the raw water is contaminated, polluted for the machines to be drawing out mud, where are we going? And what are we doing to our water bodies?,” the minister bemoaned.

She added that, “we have our own people mining within and around our river bodies and buffer areas, this must stop!!.”

Apart from the activities of illegal miners which pose the major and serious challenge to the country’s water supply system, the minister further named intermittent power supply, obsolete electro-mechanical equipment, old distribution and transmission pipelines, encroachment on water supply infrastructure among others as other challenges that militate against the country’s water supply system.

 

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