Potable water supply to Kumasi and its environs is being threatened as the two main sources have significantly been depleted by human activities.
Within a year, the 21 feet deep Owabi dam which supplies raw water to the Ghana Water Company, has reduced to six feet as a result of continuous encroachment, causing the river to be silted.
The situation is now different at the Barekese dam which currently produces 30 million gallons of treated water daily as against the maximum of 48 million gallons.
The boundaries of the Barekese River are heavily occupied by farmers whose activities were negatively impacting not only the water quality but level.
Encroachment on the Barekese and Owabi dams has been a problem which has attracted the attention of the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, but the King’s calls to get perpetrators halt their retrogressive activities seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Commissioners of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission who embarked on a working tour of both dams were appalled by the level of destruction caused by encroachment, warning of water crisis if measures are not taken to safeguard the dams.
Acting Ashanti Regional production manager of the Ghana Water Company Limited, Mr. Charles Tulashie described the situation as alarming.
“We started planting trees along the river boundaries just to protect the dam, but anytime we sow the seedlings, these farmers use heavy chemicals to kill them” he told the PURC team.
For him, “setting up military camps like it’s done in Weija is the only solution to ward off these miscreants”.
Executive secretary of PURC, Mami Ofori Dufie who described the situation as worrying and underscored the need for collaborative efforts with the media and the security agencies avert a crisis.
“Management [of Ghana Water] always complain about production cost as a result of this problem and at the end of the day, the public will have to bear it. Something must be done about this” she said.
To the technical committee chairman, Ishmael Agyekumhene, “the whole country has to be angry about what is happening. I’m afraid very soon the people of Kumasi would have to import water for consumption.
By William Evans-Nkum|3news.com|Ghana