Barekese (Ash), March 22, GNA - Consumers of pipe-borne water in the Kumasi metropolis owe the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) 33.6 billion cedis.
Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister said the huge amount of unpaid bills, coupled with massive leakages and illegal connections were affecting the smooth operations of the company.
These were contained in an address read on behalf of the Regional Minister at the Ashanti regional celebration of the World Water Day at Barekese in the Atwima-Nwabiagya District on Tuesday, under the theme, "Water for Life".
Mr Boafo also spoke against encroachment in the catchment areas of the Barekese and Owabi Head works, which supplied water to Kumasi and its environs.
He said such activities were affecting the quality and quantity of water supply into the dams.
The Regional Minister expressed concern about the use of chemicals for fishing and farming along river bodies and appealed to Ghanaians to change their attitude and protect water resources for posterity. Mr Ebenezer Kobina Garbrah, Ashanti Regional Chief Manager of GWCL, said one of the challenges facing the company was encroachment in areas close to the Barekese and Owabi dams by farmers and private land developers.
He said this year's regional celebration had been dedicated to children in the region by exposing them to the future threats to enable them to be in a better position to protect the environment.
Mr Garbrah called on consumers to pay their bills regularly, conserve and preserve water and to report leakages promptly.