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12.08.2004 Regional News

District Assemblies urged to help protect and manage water resources

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Cape Coast, Aug. 12, GNA- The Central Regional Minister, Mr Isaac Edumadze, on Thursday urged district assemblies to ensure effective protection and management of water resources in their various districts. He told them to enact byelaws for the creation of buffer zones to prohibit farming, mining, logging and other negative human activities along water bodies.

This was contained in a speech read for him at a workshop organised by the Water Resources Commission (WRC) for District Chief Executives, Coordinating Directors and Presiding Members in the region at Cape Coast.

The workshop was meant to educate the participants on water management and topics treated included integrated water resources management, procedures for raw water permit and charges, and water right application.

The Regional Minister said there were signs of neglect of water resources at the district level, with many of the rivers and streams drying up.

He said agro-chemicals for vegetable farming along riverbanks had contributed a lot to water pollution and destruction of valuable aquatic bodies.

Mr Edumadze said the district assemblies have significant roles to play in protecting streams and rivers to ensure sustenance of human and aquatic life.

He pointed out that water resource management was a multi-dimensional issue, which needed a multi-sectoral approach by the Commission and its working partners.

The Regional Minister asked the participants to liaise regularly with the Commission in its efforts to manage water resources. Ms Adwoa Van-Ess, Public Relations Officer of the Commission, noted that the Commission would achieve its objectives if district assemblies implemented all byelaws that would protect water bodies in the country. She said the Commission's activities were carried out in collaboration with data management institutions, water users, civil society and NGOS and urged the assemblies to furnish it with correct information on water bodies in their areas.

Ms Van-Ess announced that the Commission would soon establish offices in all the 16 water basins in the country.