The Water and Sanitation Officer of the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly Michael Kojo Johnson has expressed concern over the alarming rate of indiscriminate disposal of waste by the general public, especially those in the rural communities.
This practice, the official said, is inimical to the health of communities, since this waste finds its way into water bodies that serve as sources of water for the people.
Johnson expressed this concern while making his contribution to the discussion during the Watershed Radio Outreach Programme hosted by Pure FM, a Tarkwa-based radio station.
The radio show is run by the Watershed Ghana partners to educate the public on the need to ensure cleanliness in their communities, as that is critical to sustainable water delivery.
The program is produced by the Ghana WASH Journalists Network (GWJN) with support from Hope For Future Generations (HFFG) and Conservation Foundation (CF) and funded by IRC Ghana.
The topic for discussion was “Water Resources Protection- the need to protect water resources” with representatives from HFFG, a former Assembly Member of Bonsa Electoral Area who is also a WASH advocate and the sanitation officer of the Tarkwa-Nsuaem assembly.
The Watershed radio outreach programme aims at bringing to the fore the need for integration between Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).
Johnson further urged the communities to control human activities such as indiscriminate disposal of waste, open defecation, and unacceptable farming practices, all of which end up polluting water bodies.
“Anytime it rains, the refuse, human excreta, and other hazardous substances that are disposed of indiscriminately are washed into the streams, creeks, and other river bodies across the country, thus contaminating them,” he pointed out.
He added; “in spite of the critical role water plays in the existence of man on earth, we have not taken the necessary care of our water bodies in both rural communities and the urban area, with households channeling their effluent water from toilets and bathrooms straight into public drains.”
Industrial waste, domestic waste, and illegal mining activities have been some of the identified contributory factors to the pollution of the water bodies in Ghana.
On her part, the Project Coordinator of the Hope For Future Generations (HFFG) Rose Amoyaw-Baalaabore called for the collective responsibility of all Ghanaians to deal with water pollution and waste disposal.
“All stakeholders in the sector must join hands to ensure that the desired result is achieved for an increased impact in the WASH and IWRM,” she stressed.
In her submission, Rose Danquah, a former Assembly Member of the Bonsa Electoral Area at the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly, and a WASH advocate urged farmers to obey the buffer zone policy of the Water Resources Commission, and stop farming close to water bodies.
She lamented that besides the destruction of the vegetative cover for these water bodies, farmers who farmed flout the buffer zone rule introduce agro-chemicals in the streams and rivers, as rainwater washes these chemicals into the water bodies.
She, therefore, urged the assemblies to team up with the other institutions to enforce the buffer zone policy.
The Watershed program is a Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported program in some developing countries, including Ghana, with partnership from IRC, Simavi, Wetlands International, and Akvo.
A GWJN Report Filed By Matthew Dadzie