Available figures show that the quality of water in Ghana has improved, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has revealed.
He told Parliament on Wednesday November 13 during the presentation of the 2020 budget statement that “The Nationwide Water Quality Monitoring Programme showed that overall ambient water quality continued to improve from an index of 51.5 in 2017 to 56 in 2019 (which is fairly good quality). The south-western river system including Pra, Tano, Bia and Ankobra basins, which deteriorated due to illegal mining, gradually improved in quality from an index of 49.3 (poor quality) in 2017 to 53.0 in 2019 (fairly good quality).”
He added that: “The Ministry of Water Resources, through the Water Resources Commission, will expand the Nationwide Water Quality Monitoring network from the existing 41 stations to 80 and increase the water quality parameters to cover trace metals (such as arsenic, mercury, lead, copper, and zinc) and other toxins and sediments. The Commission will undertake awareness campaign on results of the assessment and take remedial actions.
“Transboundary cooperation continued to be strengthened through concerted initiatives. Accordingly, Ghana hosted the 7th Session of the Council of Ministers of the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) in May 2019. Key outcomes were the approval of the Volta Basin Water Charter and the election of the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources as the Chairman for the VBA Council of Ministers for the next two years.
“The Water Resources Commission trained nursery attendants to nurse 5,000 seedlings and planted 2,600 tree seedlings to create a 1.2km buffer zone along the Black Volta River to ensure effective management of our water resources. In addition, the Commission finalised arrangements with the Dutch Water Authorities to support the development of governance structures and technical tools for the management of the Delta.
“In 2020, the Commission will implement governance, ecosystem restoration, and conservation interventions under the Volta Basin Authority’s Programme and undertake groundwater monitoring and management network to ensure the sustainable management and utilization of ground water resources.”