Government soon to begin house-to house audit on illegal water connections

Potable Drinking Water
Potable Drinking Water

The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resource will soon embark on a house-to-house audit to deal with illegal water connection, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, has said.

She said illegal water connection was one of the challenges with water supply delivery in the country and hopeful the audit would help rid the system of bad customers.

The Minister said the details and modalities of the audit would be worked out soon, saying although most Ghanaians were believed to be honest, the “bad ones” must be brought out and made to face the full rigors of the law.

Speaking at a press briefing, on Monday, in Accra, Madam Dapaah said other challenges included intermittent power supply, obsolete electro-mechanical equipment, old distribution and transmission pipelines, and nonpayment of bills.

Others are encroachment on water supply infrastructure, sand and stone winning at the Dalun headworks in Tamale and Weija Headworks in Accra, illegal mining activities at the intake of the Daboase, Sekyere Hemang, Odaso, and Wa Water Treatment Plants, and farming practices along buffer zones.

She noted that Ghana currently had an estimated 53.2 billion cubic meters per year of natural freshwater resources out of, which only 14 percent was currently being utilised, adding that the integrity of the renewable freshwater resource endowment, together with the availability of groundwater at various geological locations, was constantly being threatened by irresponsible human activities such as illegal mining, and farming activities.

The Sector Minister noted that the Ministry was currently undertaking some replacement of weak sections of the 1050mm (42-inch) transmission pipeline from Kpong Water Treatment Plant to Tema Booster Station to improve water supply to Tema and surrounding communities.

“A total of 240m of the pipeline were replaced in the past year at a cost of GHS 2.4 million, replacement of the four defective treated water pumps that were initially put out of service at the Tema Booster Station.  Nationwide installation of Automatic Voltage Regulators (AVRs) to stabilize power supply and installation of Bulk Meters and Zonal Metering,” she added.

Madam Dapaah added that currently, filters were also being rehabilitated to reduce water treatment losses to improve efficiency of water filtration process at most production stations in the Central, Western, Volta and the Greater Accra Regions.

Some interventions put in place to enhance water resource management, according to the Minister, also included routine water quality assessment, increasing the number of monitoring stations from 62 to 86, tree planting activities in response to the degradation along riverbanks, and collaboration with UNESCO to undertake an assessment to determine the extent of water quantity and quality of groundwater resources in Ghana.

“Measures are continually being implemented to improve the protection of waterbodies from unregulated activities of small-scale miners and illegal gravel or sand winners, and mapping out hydrologically sensitive areas, which are subject to degradation, erosion, drought, flooding, and pollution from human activities within forest reserves and other selected areas such as the sources of rivers and wetlands, to provide valuable information for decision-making.”

She added that the Ministry, through the Water Resources Commission, was also implementing and facilitating the creation of riparian buffer zones to restore the ecological health of degraded water bodies.

On sanitation, Madam Dapaah said the report of the 2021 Populations and Housing Census on Water and Sanitation indicated that 59.3 percent, three in five households, now had access to toilet facilities, with more than half of the households sharing improved toilet facilities, an increment of 26.3 percent from the previous year’s value of 33 percent.

She said the Phase I of the GAMA Project had provided over 35,541 household toilets to low-income beneficiaries and completed 406 disability-friendly, Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)-considerate school toilets with separate blocks for girls and boys with locks for each cubicle to ensure privacy, water and soap for hand washing, and a sanitary disposal system to benefit over 251,872 school pupils.

The Minister said the project had also supported the provision of a total of 56km conventional offsite simplified sewage systems to serve some low-income urban communities in Accra, namely, Ashaiman New Town Community, TDC quarters and Bankuman.

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