The Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban Bagbin, has called for sustained and pragmatic measures to improve the quality of water in the Central Region.

He said recent water quality indications showed that with the exception of the River Narkwa at Ekosi, the water quality of rivers in the Central region was deteriorating.

Mr. Bagbin made this revelation at a regional water forum for stakeholders last Friday.

The forum, attended by District Chief Executives, Co-ordinating directors and directors of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, provided a platform for deliberation on how best to improve the water situation in the region.

Mr. Bagbin identified the upsurge in illegal mining in and around water courses, indiscriminate and inappropriate disposal of both solid and liquid waste as well as improper land use, as some of the contributory factors to the gradual deterioration of the quality of water in the region.

Others, he said, included sea water intrusion and high salinity of groundwater, proliferation of aquatic weeds and infrastructural development.

On the urban water supply, Mr. Bagbin said 50 per cent of the urban population in the region had access to safe water, though “this number does not, however, reflect the real situation on the ground.”

“This region enjoys excess installed capacity in the urban water supply system to meet demands up to 2025,” he said.

On rural water supply, the minister said, the current water coverage in the region was 56.2 per cent and stressed the need for a further increased coverage of 29 per cent to be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goal target of 85 per cent by 2015.

He, therefore, appealed to Ghanaians to support the government as it strives to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of 78 per cent urban water coverage and 85 per cent rural water coverage by 2015.

Mr. Bagbin mentioned various interventions by the World Bank, the European Union and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) towards improving the water supply in the region, especially in the rural areas.

He said the ministry had embarked on the development of a Strategic Sector Development Plan (SSDP) to design a comprehensive national development programme on water.

“The SSDP aims at bringing all the investment plans of the three sub-sectors into a consolidated sector plan,” he reiterated.

The Central Regional Minister, Mrs Ama Benyiwa-Doe, in a welcome address, noted that the topography of Cape Coast affects water distribution in the area.

“This has necessitated the construction of booster stations and high level tanks at great cost to enable the Ghana Water Company Limited to serve some areas of Cape Coast,” she explained.

She expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and its agencies for their role in the expansion of water supply to the people in the region.

Source: The Ghanaian Times/Ghana