By Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA
Kumasi, Oct. 16, GNA – The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) will as a matter of urgency, petition the President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, through the National Security Minister, on the need to declare as security zones, all water treatment facilities and their buffer zones in the Region.
This would help arrest the rampant, uncontrolled encroachment in these critical areas, where human activities such as sand winning and estate construction, is on the increase and its resultant impact of polluting and dwindling the volumes of these water bodies, threatening the continuous supply of potable water to the millions of residents in the Region.
Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, who stated this said the proposal to restrict access to water treatment catchment areas had been necessitated by these disturbing developments and it was time for proactive measures to address the worrying trend.
Speaking to newsmen after a visit to the Barekese and Owabi treatment plants in the Atwima-Nwabiagya North District of Ashanti, following series of reports of encroachments in the catchment areas of the plants which supplied treated water to Kumasi and its environs.
“The dicey situation, if not immediately dealt with, with stringent measures, could lead to acute water shortage in the Region in the next five to ten years,” he added.
Mr Osei Mensah pointed out that the two dams, the only source of supply of potable water in the Region, should not be allowed to continue to be polluted and turn turpid to the detriment of people’s health and livelihoods.
According to reports by management of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) at the Barekese facility, the Regional Minster said the depth of the water had reduced from 22.5 feet to only 6.5 feet due to the rampant and indiscriminate human activities in the area.
The report added that empty plastic bottles, sachets and other debris, had covered large portions of the surface area of the dam and the GWCL had employed people to remove these on daily basis, at a huge cost to the Company.
Mr Osei-Mensah was upbeat that the state of these dams could improve if adequate security measures were put in place to make it impossible for people to undertake any activity in the area.
“When these areas are declared security zones with the Military or the Police taking over and building their camps there, it will be very difficult for people to penetrate and construct buildings there - whether for commercial, private accommodation or any other human settlement in such zones,” he stated.
Mr Charles Tulasi, Acting Ashanti Regional Production Manager of GWCL, said the authorities were in the final stages of awarding a contract to a dredging company to de-silt the Barekese Dam.
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