Effects Of Galamsey On Water Production Is Getting Worse : Sanitation Minister

The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has expressed worry about the cost involved in processing water in Ghana, attributing the situation to illegal mining-induced activities.

During a visit with some officials of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to a section of Offin River in the Ashanti Region, the Minister called for a concerted approach to deal with illegal mining and the threats it poses thereof.

“We have realized that, of late, the cost of producing water is going higher, and it’s like there is no end. That is why we are joining forces as a matter of duty with stakeholders like the chiefs, youth, religious bodies, small-scale miners to make sure we preserve our environment. The Ministry of National Security says if you see something, say something, we are adding do something.”

She said, there will be regular visits to river bodies across the country in a bid to adopt strategies aimed at preserving the environment and other water resources to help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6.

The Ghana Water Company Limited has said it is still faced with the increasing cost of treating water and the regular replacement of damaged equipment following rising turbidity levels of water bodies due to illegal mining activities.

Officials are also grappling with reduction of volumes of water treated and supplied to customers as a result of pollution of water sources by illegal miners.

The company says it continues to incur extra cost to treat and supply water to its customers.

Managing Director of the GWCL, Ing. Clifford Braimah warns of the imminent consequences.

“The cost is in several folds. Our machines are stopped and maintained more regularly, so the shutdowns are becoming too frequent. Anytime you shut your plants, people are not getting water and the cost keeps multiplying, and so we cannot continue to treat the galamsey as a joke else we will all have a challenge in this country”, he told Citi News.

The water-producing company has been complaining for years about the adverse effects of galamsey on the raw materials and cost of production, but illegal mining continues to thrive.

The company says it is currently burdened by huge sums of monies spent on chemicals to treat high turbidity levels of raw water at various extraction stations.

It has warned that it could shut down operations in areas affected by galamsey if the cost of treating water becomes economically unsustainable.

The GWCL says if nothing is done to curb the menace, the company will revise its operational procedure.

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