The Head of Project Management Unit of the Ghana Water Company, Mr. Daniel Bamfo, has warned that Kumasi and its environs risk losing their continuous supply of water in the near future if the current state of encroachment and erection of structures on water bodies does not cease.
According to him, the strenuous efforts being put in place to ensure regular supply of water to residents in the Garden City was hampered by the activities of individuals who continue to build on water bodies and continuously cut down trees, thereby depleting small streams and rivers of green cover which serve as a source of oxygen supply. Such activities, according to him, were having a heavy toll on the Barekese and the Owabi dams, which serve as the main sources of water supply in the region.
It is important to stress that this is not the first time Ghanaians are reading about the encroachment on the Barekese and Owabi dams by private developers in the Kumasi metropolis. The current Ashanti regional chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Daniel Ohene Agyekum, when he was the Regional Minister during the first NDC regime, ordered the demolishing of all structures that had been erected in the catchments areas of the two dams, especially that of Owabi.
When the exercise started, some of the developers went for court restraining order and halted the demolition. The Chronicle does not known the outcome of this particular case, but several years down the line, the problem about encroachment on the catchments area of the two dams still persist. If the government has all the necessary documentation covering the acquired land serving as catchments area for the dams, then we do not understand why she should sit idle, whilst few people try to put the lives of over two million people in Kumasi and its immediate environs in danger.
As we write this piece, the two dams are supposed to supply 21 million gallons of water a day, for both industrial and domestic use by the residents, but supply has not been regular which could be attributed to the destruction of the vegetation surrounding the dams by these private developers. Water is a necessity, therefore, it would be very dangerous for the government and the GWC to always pay lip service to the developments going on in the Owabi dam without taking the necessary steps to remedy the situation.
The Chronicle believes it would serve the best interest of this country if those who are involved in the destruction of the vegetation were brought to book before the situation gets out of hand. The Chronicle would also be grateful if his majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II shows personal interest in the case, by finding out whether his sub-chiefs who are selling these lands to private developers, have the legal right to do so. Apart from Accra, Kumasi and its immediate environs is the next most densely populated area in the country, therefore Ghanaians responsibility to ensure continuous supply of water to the residents.
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