The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has revealed that the low water levels in the Dalun Treatment Plant and the resultant shortage of water in the Tamale Metropolis are caused by sand winning activities in dried rivers in the area.
The company disclosed that the Nawuni River from which water is drawn for treatment has been hit by drastic vaporization hence the reduced levels of water being fed to the plant.
Explaining the situation to #UniversNews, Public Relations Officer of GWCL, Stanley Martey said that the harmattan season which was felt the most in the northern part of the country dried up most of the natural water sources in the area, thereby putting pressure on the few remaining.
‘The Tamale Metropolis is served by a treatment plant at Dalun on the Nawuni River, but during the dry season, the water levels go down so we are unable to extract enough for treatment. That’s essentially why you have the shortage there. We can’t be blamed’, he disclosed.
Mr. Martey further revealed that when the water level in the river reduces, residents in the area take to sand-winning, a situation he says aggravates the extent of the shortage.
‘The people in the area win sand, they muddy the water and make it highly turbid. This also makes it a bit difficult to treat. Also, the smaller streams used for irrigation and even cattle also dry up so they resort to Ghana Water’, he added.
While announcing that there have not been reports of any water-borne disease outbreak in the area, Stanley Martey advised people to boil and sieve water from questionable sources before drinking. He added that there are ongoing sensitization campaigns to educate residents on better health and safety practices.
‘At least fetch, take it home, boil and sieve it. Some of the education is on a daily basis and is not only from GWCL but local health services and NGOs. It’s an ongoing thing, it has not stopped and I don’t think it will stop’, he maintained
Earlier, Assembly Member for the Chanshegu Electoral Area, Sulemana Fuseini had called on government and benevolent Ghanaians to assist in alleviating the crisis.
“If the dam dries up, we have no option than to rely on private water suppliers from outside the community, which is very costly. This is making the cost of living in the area very costly since about 95 percent of the people are peasant farmers. We plead with government to come to our aid,” he appealed.
He said several attempts have been made to GWCL but to no avail.
“We went there several times to lodge the complaint but they didn’t pay attention to it. They only told us that maybe the line they connected for us had no water pressure’. he added.
Communities in the Tamale Metropolis are currently facing water shortage coupled with a lack of access to clean water. The situation has forced residents in the area to join long queues at the few spots with water or join cattle and other animals to share the only natural water source available.
While the streams that ordinarily act as a water source to cattle dry up forcing both the local people and cattle to share the same water source, the winning (mining) of sand is significantly contributing to the pollution of water which makes it difficult to treat.
Plans for the future
Tamale will receive its fair share of Boreholes being drilled around the country he says. In addition, there are projects in the works such as more treatment plants this year to prevent these annual occurrences, however, the project is capital intensive and requires the support of which he says the Government is doing its best.
Story by: Tanya B. Akrong | universnewsroom.com