23.03.2004 Disaster

Human activities, major threat for water-related disasters

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Sunyani (B/A) March 23 GNA - The Brong-Ahafo Regional Chief Manager of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Mr. Yaw Addae-Mensah, on Monday stressed that the major threat for water-related disasters "are the increasing environmentally human activities such as bushfires, deforestation and farming close to water bodies".

There will be water shortage if the society fails to plan and implement the appropriate mitigation actions to check deforestation and other environmentally unfriendly activities in the region, he said. Mr. Addae-Mensah was addressing a section of the general public who visited the Abesim Headworks near Sunyani on Monday as part of the celebration of this year's World Water Day under the theme, "Water and Disasters".

He said the international observance of World Water Day was an initiative of the 1992 United Nation's Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) which had the goal to inspire worldwide political and community action.

The celebration is also to encourage greater global understanding of the need for more responsible water use and conservation. Mr. Addae-Mensah noted that the demand for fresh water "keeps increasing with increase in population" and cautioned that if current trends of dwindling water resources continued "then we are heading towards disaster, where available fresh water may not be able to sustain future populations".

He added: "Another form of disaster that could occur is the outbreak of water-related diseases such as cholera as a result of unavailability of fresh water in adequate quantities".

The Regional Chief Manager appealed to all and sundry to protect the catchment areas of rivers to avoid any crises of disaster that might arise as a result of insufficient fresh water for communities especially in the dry season.

He also appealed to consumers to make judicious use of treated water "as treated water is value added water and is produced at a great cost to the company".

Some students of Twene Amanfo Secondary/Technical (TASTECH) in Sunyani who were the only educational institution to visit the Company's Head works were taken round some essential places including where the processes of water treatment started for visual inspection and the location of River Tano, the main source of water supply in the region.

The students were jointly taken round by Mr Kingsley Badu Sackey the station manager, who is also in-charge of production department. Mr. Christian Siawor, Regional Chemist/Bacteriologist advised the students to spread the message to their relatives, friends and parents.

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