17.05.2005 Regional News

VR Minister calls for "responsible" use of water resources

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Ho, May 17, GNA - Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister has directed District Assemblies in the region to enforce by-laws to check the irresponsible use of water resources in their areas. He also urged the assemblies to adopt the emerging buffer zone policy being promoted by the Water Resources Commission (WRC), which would prohibit farming, mining, logging, constructional and other human activities on the banks of streams and rivers.

Mr. Dzamesi was opening a day's workshop on Water Resources Management by the WRC for District Assemblies in the Volta Region in Ho on Tuesday.

The Minister said a visit to the banks of rivers in all parts of the country revealed horrendous spectacles of "neglect and abuse of our water resources."

He held that the drying rivers and streams in the various districts are due mainly to the collective actions and inactions of Ghanaians. "It is not untrue that our rivers and streams have been used for disposal of both solid and liquid waste," the Minister observed and declared, "this practice is as unacceptable as it is environmentally unfriendly."

He urged participants to discuss issues passionately so that at the end of the day sustainable plans for the proper and effective management of our water resources, and the protection of all water bodies, would be evolved for the benefit of the country.

Mr. Dzamesi exhorted the WRC and its partners to create and maintain enduring relationships with the District Assemblies, civil society and traditional authorities in their bid to ensure a lasting and integrated water resources management.

He urged policy makers to be conversant with the fact that water management was a "cross-sectoral issue," which must be incorporated into national development policies.

Participants at the workshop included, District Chief Executives (DCEs), District Coordinating Directors (DCDs), Presiding Members of District Assemblies, District Water and Sanitation Officers and School Health Officers of the Ghana Education Service (GES).

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