By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Nawuni(N/R), Jan. 31, GNA – The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has appealed to the Government and other relevant authorities to help create a buffer zone of at least two kilometres on each side of the Nawuni river to help prevent pollution from sand winning activities.
Mr Stevens Ndebugri, the Northern Regional Chief Manager of GWCL, who made the appeal, said sand winning activities near the lower and upper banks of the river must cease to reduce the rate of siltation and turbidity level of the river.
Mr Ndebugri was speaking when he led Mr Michael Gyato, the Deputy Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, to tour the GWCL’s raw water intake point at Nawuni and the water treatment plant at Dalun, all in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region, to apprise him operations there.
He warned that failure to do this would result in water crisis in the Region as underground water was also difficult to come by in parts of Tamale.
The GWCL draws water from the river at Nawuni for treatment to serve the Tamale Metropolis, Savelugu Municipality, Nanton, Kumbungu, and Tolon districts.
However, contractors depend on sand at the riverside for construction purposes leading to increased sand winning activities through the use of sophisticated machinery resulting in siltation of the river.
Attempts to control the sand winning activities in the area have not yielded results.
According to the GWCL, the level of turbidity in the river currently stands at 192, which is way beyond the accepted standard of ‘from zero to five,’ a situation which implies that a lot of chemicals are used to treat the water to drinkable level.
Due to the high turbidity level of the river, instead of up to five per cent, 22 per cent of water is lost at the treatment plant level because it is not good for human consumption whiles some amount of the treated water is also lost during distribution in the form of illegal connection and spillage.
GWCL currently produces between 28,000 to 32,000 cubic metres of water in a month as against the 45,000 cubic metres demanded by customers.
Mr Ndebugri said the situation meant that GWCL was making a lot of losses in terms of revenue calling for urgent steps to deal with the sand winning situation to improve the operations of the company to better serve the public.
Mr Gyato expressed displeasure at the rate of sand winning in the area saying government may have to use some force to prevent the practice near the river to save it.