» A service line is laid across the community to allow applicants to tap unto the service line with prepaid meters, therefore, raising funds for the maintenance of these facilities and also paying the employed youths of these communities.
» The treated water can also be served at the point of treatment into buckets, jaricans and any kind of container ensuring that everybody living in that community have access to treated water in a cost effective manner or way.
» Jobs: Because we aim at providing quality drinking water to all Ghanaians, we recruit people as artisans in water treatment to support us meet the high technical demand of all our valued customers. It does not require much educational background. All that it requires is the passion and loyalty to undergo the field training.
On Monday the 17th of October, 2016 the people of Kpando in the Volta Region witnessed an inauguration of a newly completed water supply expansion project.
The original water system was based on underground systems using boreholes and its maximum production capacity was 130,000 gallons a day which was unable to meet the current demands.
However, the new system, which will pump 1.5 million gallons a day, draws water from the Volta Lake at Tokor to the treatment plant at Kpando. The project’s life span extends to 2025. It was built at the cost of about $13 million and will serve Kpando, Sovie, Anfoega, Nkonya Ahenkro, and other surrounding communities. To ensure effective distribution of the volume of water a day, 110 km of pipe lines has been laid to various communities while 50 stand pipes has been constructed. The Ghana Water Company is managing the project.
This has become necessary as settlements spread within the area, making it difficult to adequately provide potable water to the target population.
“For us to be able to serve our people adequately, we are liaising with the assembly to talk to the GWCL to give us bulk water so that we can distribute and pay outright,” the Board Chairman of the scheme, Mr. Benjamin Banitsi, told the Daily Graphic.
He was speaking at a public hearing to account to the people on the activities of the scheme in the area at Abokobi.
The annual public hearing created the platform for the scheme to educate the people on their rights and responsibility as well as the activities of the scheme over the year.
Mr. Banitsi said because of the increasing population of the area, the demand for water had outstripped supply, “and that is why we are liaising with the GWCL to complement what we are doing here.”
He said from January 2014 to December 2015, the scheme connected water to 202 houses to bring the total connection to 1,468.
Irregular power supply
Mr. Banitsi explained that irregular power supply from the national grid had led to high cost of operation as the scheme was compelled to buy diesel to power its generator to pump water.
Giving statistics, he said during the year under review, the scheme spent GH¢47,892.00 on diesel alone to be able to pump water continuously
He thanked the people in the area for their patience and assured that the scheme was committed to providing potable water to them.
Mr. Banitsi said, the scheme was not only concentrating on the provision of potable water.
The System Manager of the scheme, Mr. Jerry Yao Ayimah, who presented the annual report at the forum, said one major challenge to the provision of potable water apart from the high cost of electricity was damage to pipelines by estate developers.
He said the only way out of the situation was to relocate pipelines from private plots to avoid interruption of water supply as a result of the damages.
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A few months ago, the Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipality and many other parts of Ghana and other regions of the world were bedeviled with severe and prolonged drought. Although the cause was erroneously traced to pollution including wrongful mining activities by primary stakeholders (interested parties who depend directly on the water resources for domestic use, farming and for other businesses), it became clearer afterwards that it was as a result of a natural phenomenon called Elnino.
Elnino is defined by prolonged and abnormal warming in the surface of the Pacific Ocean. It is a 3-month average warming of at least 0.5 °C in a specific area of the east-central Tropical Pacific Ocean. Typically, this anomaly happens at irregular intervals of two to seven years. The average period for Elnino is five years. When this warming occurs for seven to nine months, it is classified as Elnino conditions and when its duration is longer, it is classified as an Elnino Episode. The important thing to note about Elnino is the fact that it originates from the Pacific Region and impacts equatorial and tropical regions of the world.
Water resources are not evenly distributed across the world and for that matter Ghana is no exception. Within river basins, the water resources are again not evenly distributed. Downstream segments of rivers have more water than upstream sub-catchments. Due to these uneven spatial distributions, natural disasters such as Elnino would dry up the upstream of a river basin faster than the downstream. This is precisely what happened in the case of the Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipality.
In the course of the water crisis at the Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipality, primary stakeholders and secondary stakeholders (interested parties who are into the business of protection or conservation of water resources for current and future generations) were found to be accusing themselves of unfulfilled mandate instead of considering ways to avoid the recurrence of such mishaps. Under those circumstances, it would have been better for stakeholders to bring themselves to a conference to work out schemes to deal with the emergency.
Moving forward, Ghana needs to appreciate the fact that in difficult moments we must desire to investigate issues constructively instead of playing the blame game and we should be interested in finding sustainable solutions to the predicament instead of who failed to work. The drive must be unity among the categories of stakeholders in difficult moments than strife and punishment.
Additionally, the Republic of Ghana should explore various financing mechanisms through individual, entity and even foreign development partners co-operation to diagnose and institute interventions as well as the financial mechanisms to embark upon relevant projects. In the case of the Nsawam Adoagyiri seasonal water crisis and those of the Volta Basin, there is the need to embark upon massive environmental engineering projects to ensure adequate availability of water resources of good quality. This could be achieved through:
- Inter-basin and intra-basin water transfers by canals and pipeline transmission systems
- Exploring rainwater harvesting and tapping of groundwater resources
- Provisioning of comprehensive solid and liquid waste management plants in all districts in Ghana
- Strict observation of the Buffer Zone Policy, National Water Policy and all environmental laws and regulations to allow fallow the floodplains of rivers and not building in water ways
- Farmers giving space to the Densu River and all the other water bodies in Ghana. This implies farming in larger land spaces with engineered grazing and crop fields where farm wastewater and solid waste are managed to curb or eliminate pollution of natural water courses or the environment
- Re-engineering of communities such as Nsawam, Adoagyiri and many other similar slums across the entire country. Good town planning schemes that would allow space for residences, industries, recreation, commercial and social amenities
- Attitudinal change which is key to sustainable development. This points to discipline with respect to personal and communal hygiene, sanitation, abiding by rules and regulations as well as cultivating the conduct of preparedness to generate and spend financial resources to achieve community led total sanitation across the length and breadth of the Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipality and by extension the whole of the Republic of Ghana.
Ghana is endowed with more than enough water resources with particular reference to the Volta Basin draining from five countries (Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Benin, Togo) into Ghana. What is required is the infrastructure to deal with the seasonal water crunch.
It is important to note that the Weija Dam Acquisition is being guarded by security personnel deployed by the National Security Council. Lessons learned from these practical conservation efforts would be replicated across all other major river basins in Ghana.
Within this period of water affluence, we must not forget about what we went through recently and become victims over and over again in succeeding dry seasons. The way to go is inter-basin or intra-basin water transfer from either the Volta Lake or the Weija Lake respectively in sorting out the Nsawam Adoagyiri seasonal water difficulties.