The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has issued a stern warning over a looming water crisis in the northern region following what the company described as the dwindling in size — due largely to degradation and siltation — of the Volta Lake in Nawuni where its intake plant is situated.
The color of the water, GWCL said, has changed completely and the amount of chemicals require in treating the water for about 600,000 residents in Tamale and hundreds of others in Kumbungu, Tolon and Sagnarigu, Savelugu districts residents has increased. The warning follows the destruction of the vegetation on the banks of the river by upstream activities of sand winning
About eight excavators invaded several entering points of the Volta lake river in the Kumbungu district creating fear and panic among GWCL, environmental activists and residents in Dalun.
Addressing journalists at Katong Sand Winning site, the northern regional chief engineer of the company, Mr. Nde Bugre Steven, pleaded with the government to halt the activities of the excavators within a week or residents in Tamale and its adjourning districts will suffer a severe water shortage.
Mr. Bugre who painted a gloomy picture of the situation said the company now uses 48 bags of alum per day to treat the water instead of the previous 20 bags which in the long run is causing the state a lot of money.
Dredging machines which have destroyed the turbidity of the water were also found in the river river Dakar in the Yendi Municipality, which he said has now dried up and when Dalun dries up, disaster will hit the region.
GWCL is asking the government to immediately stop excavators from loading sand and rather allow the conventional way (manual way using shovel) at least about 200 meters away from the river.
“I member as a young engineer in Dalun, it was small quantity of alum we use but now we use plenty of chemicals,” Mr Nde Bugre lamented.
He suggested that the only way to reclaim the land and restore the destroyed vegetation is for the assembly to plant trees.
The situation, Mr. Bugre said, needs urgent attention, adding the earlier the Kumbungu district puts its feet on the ground and meet all stakeholders including the Chiefs to address the problem, the better for the region.