A high powered delegation from the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire has paid a working visit to Ghana to discuss issues on water resources and how to preserve them between the two countries.
The meeting focused on the damage caused by pollution in the Bia and Tano rivers because of illegal mining (galamsey) and measures taken by Ghana to resolve the problem and the way forward.
Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, who made this known to the Ghana News agency, said water was considered central to the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6), which is “Clean Water and Sanitation for All.”
“Therefore, mismanagement of our water resources that could result in pollution, and negatively impact on human lives, aquatic life, irrigation and industry would not be compromised,” she stated.
She said there was also the issue of sedimentation, which could lead to low carrying capacity, resulting in floodings with its attendant loss of lives, farms and properties.
She reiterated that the Volta River was shared with Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Togo with Ghana having 43 per cent downstream.
“The Tano is a transboundary river splitting between Ghana, having 93 per cent while Cote d’Ivoire only seven per cent, while Bia River in Cote d’Ivoire is 69 per cent and Ghana 31 per cent respectively,” Madam Dapaah stated.
She said the Bia River in Cote d’Ivoire had two hydroelectric dams, which supplied power to Abidjan that met the western borders of Ghana and that there was the need for a conscious effort to address the sanitation, water and environmental challenges facing the countries.
Mr Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, noted that Ghana had made gains in achieving several targets under the SDG, but said water bodies due to the illegal activities of galamsey still lagged.
He said Ghana had made some efforts to form a task force to address the challenges of our water bodies in many rural areas in the country.
He described the meeting as very fruitful and expressed the hope that it would help us move the relationship between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to the next level.
The Minister of Water and Forests of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Laurent Tchagba, who led the delegation, said the meeting would provide an opportunity for both countries to protect the transboundary water system.
The delegation would visit the Weija Water Treatment Plant to familiarize themselves with the situation on the ground.