The catchment area of the Barekese Dam, which supplies raw water to the main Ghana Water Company Treatment plant for Kumasi and parts of its surrounding areas is to be declared a security zone.
The decision by the officials of the Water Resources Commission has been necessitated by the activities of illegal miners in the catchment area that has pulluted the dam which is takes its source from the Ofin River.
Officials say failure to take immediate measures to check galamsey activities and encroachers within the catchment area could result in the closure of the dam’s intake facilities, something that could lead to major public hazard. Currently there is uncontrolled infrastructure development in the area, indiscriminate harvesting of wood around the watercourse and the reservoir, as well as the use of agrochemicals by farmers in the area.
According to them, the activities of galamsey operators in other parts of the country has caused three water intake facilities of the Ghana Water Company to be shutdown.
Addressing a news conference in Kumasi, Chairman of the Water Resource Commission, Nana Professor Agyewodin Adu Gyamfi Ampem, was not happy about the development within the Barekase Dam catchment area.
He explained the current condition of water in the dam requires large amount of chemicals to treat, which means the Ghana Water Company will have to spend more to treat it.
Over a million people in and around Kumasi depend on this Barekese for potable water supply. It produces 30 million gallons of water per day. Recently the catchment area was re-afforested to protect and improve its ecological integrity.
Professor Ampem, said since 2005, the Commission has been monitoring the quality of water bodies and categorised the quality of an entire water body as either good, fairly good, poor or grossly polluted.
According to him, the Barekese reservoir from 2005 to 2012 had fairly good water quality but has since 2013 to 2014 deteriorated to the category of poor water quality.
For him declaring the Barekese dam and its environs a security zone would be a lasting solution to the encroachment in the area.
He said the Commission wil first discuss with other stakeholders, including the chiefs, the proposal to involve security operatives in protecting the dam to ensure its successful implementation.
By Benjamin Aidoo|TV3|3news.com|Ghana