Ghana’s drinking water mostly contaminated – Water minister
There is Widespread contamination of drinking water in Ghana, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources has revealed.
Quoting from research by Ghana Statistical Service dubbed Ghana Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (2017/2018) on drinking Water quality parameters ,the Minister- Cecilia Dapaah stated that the survey indicated widespread deterioration in drinking water quality in the country with 48% contamination at the source and 76% at the point of use.
This she said is unacceptable hence government attention has been drawn to the need to increase investment in Water and Sanitation,improve on infrastructural development and water treatment technology to enhance efficiency and quality.
Cecilia Dapaah however expressed concern over degradation of the Water sources through Illegal mining ,deforestation ,disposal of both solid and liquid waste ,sand winning and farming along river banks which she said threaten both Water quantity and quality” carrying implications for the provision of Water supply to all”
The Minister explained that ” in 2017 ,the improper use of Water especially illegal mining (galamsey ) had ensured that of 16 major river basins in the Country,65% were poor quality,with 15% of these critical”. She stated that the Ministry has recently noted with great concern illegal sand-winning within the river and streams bed of white Volta Basin close to the Ghana Water Company intakes at Dalun and Nawuni which serve Tamale and its environs
She therefore commended Government and the media for the sustained fight against illegal mining which resulted in improvement in Water quality
This was contained in a speech read by Donnan Tay- Director of Water at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, on behalf of the Sector Minister during the celebration of 2019 World Water Day held at Akropong School for the Blind in the Eastern Region under the global theme “Leaving No One Behind”.
The Minister stated despite this challenges ,Ghana has made considerable strides over the years in the provision of basic drinking water services to the population adding ,for instance that,the current Ghana Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)2017/2018 indicates that
8 in every 10,000 households in Ghana are using basic drinking water services however some inequalities and disparities exist which are likely to widened if collective actions not taken.
Additionally ,20% of the population use about 1 hour to three hours more than the acceptable 30 minutes for a roundtrip including queuing to fetch water each day for households without water on premise.
Sylvia Lopez -Ekra ,the Acting UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana ,said the SDGS 6 enjoins countries to provide access to safe drinking water to all by 2030 however he said in Ghana ,the 2017 indicator suggest that 21% of Ghanaians still do not have access to safe water which goes up to 32% in rural communities.
She also mentioned that there is huge disparities in the water coverage in Ghana.She cited that Greater Accra for instance has 98% water coverage however the Water Coverage in the Northern Region stands at 50 %.
She therefore charged government to ensure equitable water delivery with much concentration to marginalized groups.
Ama Kudom Agyeman, one of the Organizers of the event told Starr News,Students of Akropong School for Blind and students Mampong School for the deaf were targeted for the event this year to push for an agenda of inclusiveness in decision making on Water delivery services