Scientist urges government to institute wastewater management law
By Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, April 6, GNA - Mr Samuel Obiri, Senior Scientist, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research-Water Research Institute has urged government to institute a framework to ensure effective use of wastewater in the country.
He said wastewater needed to be recognised in the water cycle since it was the greatest untapped opportunities to enhance sustainable development.
Mr Obiri said this in Accra in an interview with members of the Water and Sanitation Network of Journalist as part of activities to mark this year's national celebration of World Water Day on the theme 'Water and Wastewater'.
He said the country needed a policy direction to psyche the minds of Ghanaians to understand the importance of treating wastewater for its reuse since other countries like Singapore and Canada had done same.
Mr Obiri enumerated issues such as ineffective policies, weak regulations and laws, corruption and lack of appropriate infrastructure and lack of investment in human capacity building as factors that hindered the effectiveness of wastewater management.
He noted that it was imperative for government to allocate enough money to the sector and the willingness for the citizenry to pay taxes to invest in infrastructure for the water sector development.
Mr Obiri urged government to develop innovative ways of streamlining the water industry from activities of pollution such as illegal mining that affected the country's water bodies.
This he explained could be possible when there was effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism in place to ensure transparency and accountability in the system.
He said the country need to consider wastewater as a resource because of a global climate change which caused disruptions in the world's natural hydrological cycles, thereby having effects on water quality and supply.
Mr Obiri said increased acceptance and reliance on reclaimed water would play a key role in mitigating the impacts of global climate change.
'Wastewater can act as a source of drinking water if treated well even though there were some health risk from associated pathogens and other contaminants from chemicals', he added
According to UN Water, the waste water from the homes, cities and industries, which could be reused was lost.
Some of the most important measures to practise water conservation in aroundd areas include re-use of effluent from industries, artificial aquifer recharge and the utilisation of sand storage dams to reduce evaporation.