The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in the Northern Region has warned that it may be forced to cut the supply of water to Tamale and surrounding communities, due to the activities of illegal sand winners at one of its treatment plants in the region.
According to the company, the situation has worsened, as it now draws out more mud than water, due to high levels of siltation in the White Volta caused by sand winning.
The White Volta is the only source of raw water for hundreds of thousands of residents in Tamale and other surrounding communities.
However, sand winning activities are diverting the river course and thus increasing the turbidity.
The Ghana Water Company Limited says it loses over 65,000 Ghana cedis daily at the Dalun water treatment plant due to sand winning activities.
The Public Relations Officer of GWCL in the Northern Region, Nii Abbey, in an interview with Citi News at a stakeholders' forum organised by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, (PURC) said all efforts to get authorities to regulate the activities of these sand winners have failed.
“Last year operation vanguard had to step in but it ended up in a political game. The activities of illegal sand winners on the White Volta at Nawuni is really affecting our operations to the extent that the river is virtually silted and muddy.”
He further lamented that “In the coming months, if the activities are not halted GWCL, Northern Region would be compelled to suspend operations temporarily because the plant is designed to abstract water.”
The Northern Regional Manager for the PURC, Issahaku Mashood Yakubu said the Commission will be proactive to ensure value for money.
“The PURC is more strategically positioned to be proactive in the discharge of our operation mandate to ensure value for money for the Ghanaian consumer. The PURC would not sit down to wait for issues to degenerate before we start running around to do fire fighting. We will confront the issues proactively and objectively.” he said.
Northern Regional Manager for the PURC, Issahaku Mashood Yakubu
The forum brought together consumers, the Ghana Water Company Limited and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), to deliberate on the challenges they face and find solutions to improve service and increase customer satisfaction.
The forum also offered consumers the opportunity to ask questions and suggest some solutions towards improving customer service.