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Water conservation, a key factor in maintaining ecosystem - Minister

By gna

Mr Albert Abongo, Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing on Saturday said pollution control and water conservation

was a key factor in maintaining ecosystem functions and services.

“Ensuring environmental sustainability needs specific policy issues and guidelines such as the creation of buffers along the water bodies.”

Mr Abongo, who is also a Member of Parliament for Bongo said this after

a street procession to mark the celebration of this year's World Water Day in Accra with the theme: “Shared water – Shared opportunities” with the focus on transboundary waters.

He said a draft Buffer Zone Policy document has been developed aimed at introducing pragmatic actions and measures for the protection of the country's national and international water bodies and vital ecosystems in providing economic benefits for the populace.

He said there were a number of impact concerns to Ghana on the Volta, which includes transboundary pollution, accidental flooding, spills from upstream reservoirs and protection of local communities as well as existing and future investments.

The Minister stated that there were also the concern of ensuring substantial inflows from the upstream riparian countries into the main Volta, and thus the continuous viability of the Akosombo Hydro Power plant and the just commenced Bui Hydro Electric Power plant construction.

Mr Abongo said to address these issues, it was a clarion call on the nation to nurture the opportunities for cooperation in transbountary water management by building mutual respect, understanding and trust with the riparian neighbours and promote peace, security and sustainable economic growth.

He said the way transboundary waters are protected, sustainably managed and used will affect the successful achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and safeguard human security and development.

“In this regard, Ghana has played a lead role towards the establishment of a Volta Basin Authority (VBA), which was realized through the ratification of a convention by the six riparian countries of Burkina Faso, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, and Mali.

“It is our hope that the VBA in carrying out its mandate would ensure the equitable sharing and sustained development and management of the Volta,” he said.

Mr Abongo said; “let us foster dialogue to find solutions that would enable us address our transboundary water issues.”