The Tano River which supplies water to thousands of people in the Bono and Bono East regions has been poisoned, raising fears of a possible health crisis in the areas.
A truck load of acid-based car batteries has leaked into the river which is mainly the source of raw water for the Ghana Water Company treatment plant at Abesim, near Sunyani in the Bono Region.
Several aquatic animals in the River, including fishes and crocodiles have been killed by the acid content of the battery which leaked into the river at Techiman-Tanoso, a Techiman-based local reporter with Asta FM, Nana Kwadwo Adu reported.
The articulated truck was said to be transporting the batteries from Kumasi area to Burkina Faso on Monday, January 13 when it fell into the Tano River at Techiman-Tanoso in the Bono East region.
The accident happened just directly opposite the Ghana Water Company treatment plant at Techiman-Tanoso, but the Municipal Chief Executive for Techiman, John Kofi Donyinah, told 3news.com it will not affect the raw water to the plant.
Responders to the scene retrieved fishes and other aquatic animals from the river, raising fears the chemicals in the battery have poisoned the river, which is the source of drinking water for residents in communities along the river banks.
Officials from Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Water Company, National Disaster Management Organisation and the Techiman Municipal Assembly among others are currently at the scene trying to tow the truck out of the river to be able to remove the batteries.
“Looking at the nature of the content; 98 per cent acidic so we have to be cautious. We are still at the site,” the MCE stated.
“Nobody should touch anything from the river,” he warned while confirming some aquatic animals have been discovered dead following the poisoning.
Mr Donyinah told 3news.com that all municipal and district chief executives within the catchment area.
Don’t drink water from Tano –NADMO
NADMO) in the Offinso issued a public health alert to persons living in communities along the river bank, warning them against fetching water from the river.
“All communities along the Tano River from Techiman – Tanoso to Chira, Duayaw Nkwanta, Bechem are advised strongly not to drink the Tano river water effective today till further notice,” the statement signed by the District Coordinator, Elijah Mamoa warned.
It advised all those along the banks of the river to adhere to the warning in order to save human lives.
The Tano River flows for 400 kilometres from Techiman in Ghana to Aby Lagoon in Ivory Coast where it enters the Atlantic Ocean.