Sekondi-Takoradi: Residents asked to brace up for worsening water supply

Residents of Sekondi-Takoradi and its environs in the Western Region who rely on water from the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) for their various daily activities will have to continue to consider other alternative means of getting water as drawing, treatment and subsequent distribution of potable water from the company continue to reduce.

“If possible, residents must make financial arrangement and get a storage for water to rely on when there is a shortage,” Western Region Public Relations Manager of GWCL Nana Yaw Barima Barnie advised residents on Connect FM’s midday news Orekodo Kasie Bo.

“As I speak, my tap is not flowing but then I had already made alternative arrangements. So, it was that alternative arrangement that I have made, that I rely on. And so, we must have a storage that can last for like four days.”

Drawing, treatment and distribution of potable water to Sekondi-Takoradi and beyond by GWCL has over the years become a challenge due to the inability of the company to draw and treat raw water from the Inchaban Headworks and Daboase Treatment plant because of the low levels at the intake points.

The Daboase Headworks, for example, has the capacity to produce six million gallons of water a day but is now producing less than four million due to a myriad of challenges, amongst them the activities of illegal gold miners, commonly referred to as “galamsey”, on River Pra, which is the main source of raw water for the treatment plant.

Inchaban and Daboase’s joint production – in recent times – stand at about 30,000 cubic metres a day which translates to about 6.6 million gallons of water a day as against a daily demand of 90,000 cubic metres or 19.8 million gallons.

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“As I speak with you, Daboase is currently below gauge. What this means is that we are unable to measure the level of water. For Inchaban, the current level is 5.3 meters. The level has been like that for the past five days.”

It has now become a common phenomenon to see residents lined up at community stand pipes and along streets with containers popularly referred to as “Kufour gallons” in search of water.

One common complaint that most radio stations in Sekondi-Takoradi receive on their morning shows is the availability of water.

And the answer has always been the same from the Comapny about its inability to produce more water for distribution due to low levels of raw water at their intake points.

“We are in the dry season and so we are not getting enough water to draw. We are hoping that the rains will come early so that we see an appreciation in water levels at the intake points so that we can produce more and distribute, ” said Nana Barima Barnie in perhaps a scripted and rehearsed response as that has been the same line for years.

For the past two days Sekondi-Takoradi and areas around it has experienced rainfall. And for residents that should be a panacea to the water shortage.

Unfortunately, Nana Barima Barnie explained that “the rains we recorded have not had any impact on the water levels at Inchaban and Daboase and like I have already told you the level at Inchaban, for example, has remained same for the past five days. Again the rains help when it occurs in the direction of Inchaban and Daboase”.

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Last year in November, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo cut the sod for the rehabilitation and expansion of the Daboase Water Treatment Plant.

The project, financed with a credit facility from the Austrian Export Credit Agency (OeKB) and at a cost of €70 million, is expected to deliver 100,000 cubic metres of water which is approximately 22 million gallons a day to Sekondi-Takoradi and adjourning assemblies.

Since the ceremony, about four months now, residents of Sekondi-Takoradi are yet to see any activity concerning the project.

Water demand of Sekondi-Takoradi is expected to grow to 200,000 cubic metres a day which is about 44 million gallons by 2040.

By Eric Yaw Adjei||Ghana