Regional News of 2014-08-05

‘Measures to protect Weija Dam needed’

A workshop to create awareness of the need to protect the Weija Dam and improve the quality of water it produces has ended in Accra.

Organised by the Water Resources Commission, the workshop brought together participants from the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), the Environmental Protection Agency, the International Water Association (IWA) and the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in the Water and Sanitation Sector (CONWAS).

Other participants were from metropolitan and municipal assemblies within the catchment areas of the Weija Dam such as Ga Central, South and West, Nsawam Adoakyir municipalities and the Accra metropolis.

In a speech read on his behalf at a workshop, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, said increasing urbanisation and the challenges associated with it had made it necessary for the implementation of measures that would safeguard water sources and also raise awareness of the importance of water quality towards improved health.

He said the lack of access to clean water and sanitation systems, especially in the urban centres, was a public health concern which needed to be given outmost priority in the decision-making process at all levels of government. According to him, the quality of water should not be compromised even as the capacity of water supply sources is increased.

The Quality Assurance Manager of the Weija Dam, Mr Nicholas Otchere, bemoaned some human activities which were having negative effects on the Weija Dam He mentioned activities such as stone quarrying, bad fishing culture and encroachment on the banks of the dam as some of the practices that were affecting the efficient operations of the dam.

A Water Quality Specialist at the Water Resource Commission, Ms Adwoa Paintsil, underscored the importance of protecting the Weija dam owing to the crucial role it plays in the provision of water to a large section of Accra.

The participants in the workshop highlighted the problems associated with access, provision and distribution of water in their communities and also how best to address the challenges.

They pointed out that issues such as the insufficient monitoring of water suppliers, sand winning along water bodies and poor household water storage facilities were some of the challenges that needed to be addressed.

They, therefore, proposed the planting of more trees along river banks, sufficient public education on water hygiene and effective monitoring of the activities of water suppliers as some of the ways to remedy the situation.

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