Stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector have been urged to adopt strategic measures that will ensure the safety and security of water bodies in the country.
Mrs Caroline Raes, Head of Programmes at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), who made the call, also underscored the need for various stakeholders to institute measures to guarantee the safety and adequate supply of potable water in the country.
She was addressing a ceremony organised in Tamale by CRS and partners to commemorate this year’s World Water Day on the theme: “Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible”.
Key stakeholders from various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Northern Region amongst other agencies took part in the event to deliberate on the need to improve on the quality of water provision in the region.
The World Water Day, commemorated in March every year, had been instituted by United Nations to celebrate gains in water service delivery, raise awareness on global water crises and to stimulate discussions and collective action to provide the needed solutions.
Mrs Raes expressed the need for stakeholders to take necessary steps to harness the prospects of groundwater to minimise incidences of water scarcity in the country.
She noted that an estimated 41 per cent of the country’s population depended on groundwater sources for their domestic and industrial use, hence the need to prioritise its safety for consumption.
She lamented that the geological formation of Tamale and its environs were not favourable for groundwater exploration and abstraction compelling residents to depend largely on the White Volta River.
She said, “considering the socioeconomic importance of the White Volta River, which is the only fresh water source for Tamale and its environs, there is the urgent need to address the environmental issues along the river basin, especially at Nawuni, where abstraction and treatment take place.”
Mr Nicholas Hene Ampong Okyere, Northern Regional Production Manager at Ghana Water Company Limited, lamented the deficit in water supply in the region, saying, “The water demand for Tamale is about 90,000m3.
“However, the Dalun Headworks currently, has an installed capacity of 45,000m3 per day but can only produce a daily average of 32, 000m3 of water to Tamale Metropolis and its environs.”
He called for permanent relocation of sand miners away from the water treatment plant to ensure the sustainability of the Dalun Water Treatment Plant.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, called on communities to acknowledge water security and environmental degradation as shared responsibility to join efforts to address the situation.
Mr Osman Mumuni, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist at the Tamale Field Office of the United Nations Children Fund, called on government and other stakeholders to invest in groundwater to enhance water safety and security in the region.