Accra, June 29, GNA - Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Albert Adongo, on Monday called for a policy on rain water harvesting to make water available during dry seasons.
He said though he would be leading the crusade for the policy, he would not be able to put a timeframe to it.
Speaking to the media after the opening of a five-day international workshop on Climate Change Adaptation for Water Basin Management in Ghana, he said water had been very scarce in the country but during raining seasons, “we allow the rain water to just flow without any harvesting and our farmers and crops suffer”.
He said: “Water is a precious natural resource, vital for life, development and the environment. It can be a matter of life and death, depending on how it occurs and how it is managed but, when too much or too little, it can cause destruction, misery or death.”
Mr Adongo explained that irrespective of how it occurred, if properly managed, it could be an instrument for economic survival, growth and poverty alleviation, lifting people out of degradation of having to live without access to safe water, while at the same time bringing prosperity to all.
The conference organised by the Development Institute, a non-governmental organisation in collaboration with the Water Resources Commission with support from the Institute for Environmental Studies in Amsterdam, has participants from Ghana, Ethiopia, Peru, Botswana, Vietnam and Brazil.
The conference is aimed at increasing the adaptive capacities of people and the environments around the Dayi River Basin, a major eastern tributary of the Volta Lake.
The conference is also a follow-up to the adaptation of the ADAPTS project being implemented in participating countries, which is aimed at increasing developing countries' adaptive capacities by achieving the inclusion of climate change and adaptation.
In Ghana, the ADAPTS project is being implemented in the Ghana-Togo Range aimed at conserving the range, biodiversity, crop diversification and community sensitization on climate change.
Mr Adongo said Ghana's economy revolved around agriculture, which accounted for nearly 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and employed 56 per cent of the workplace.
Mr Ben Ampomah Acting Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission, said the Commission would not hesitate to extend its expertise and services to realize the goals of the ADAPTS project in Ghana.