Ghanaians advised to harvest rain water

Ghanaians have been advised to adopt rain harvesting as a means of solving the water problems.

“The seemingly insurmountable problem of inadequate water supply confronting our major cities and towns and the effects on climate change make it obligatory for us as a nation to adopt rain water harvesting as one of the best options in helping to manage the country’s water requirements,” Nana Kwabena Dwomoh Sarpong, a renowned environmentalist, has said.

Commenting on the county’s water supply situation in a chat with the Times here, Nana Dwomoh-Sarpong, Country Director of Rain Water Harvesting International, expressed satisfaction with the government’s efforts to evolve a national rain water harvesting policy but suggested that the process should be fast-tracked to bring it to reality.

In the interim, he stressed the need for the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to enact bye-laws making it mandatory for all office and residential buildings to be equipped with the necessary structures for harvesting rain water.

He argued that “if rain water harvesting was effectively adopted several decades ago when rivers and other water bodies were treated with so much sanctity and respect, how can we abandon the practice at a time when our rivers and water sources are heavily polluted and abused?

“Our fore fathers who were largely uneducated saw the wisdom in harvesting rain water and effectively did so in the past even though water was abundant everywhere at that time, why are we, with all the education and technology at our disposal, rather being careless and treating water as an inexhaustible resource?,” he queried.

Nana Dwomoh-Sarpong, who is also the president of Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies, an environmental nongovernmental organization, attributed the recent floods in some parts of the country partly to “our inability to effectively harvest rain water, and encroachment on waterways”.

He said, “Instead of effectively and efficiently harvesting rain water for productive use in the midst of our unreliable water supply system, we simply sit aloof and look on as untapped rains create floods and rather cause us misery through loss of lives and destruction of property,” he observed.

Nana Dwomoh-Sarpong strongly condemned the wanton destruction of the country’s rivers and other water bodies through illegal mining, improper fishing and farming practices, and warned of a possible water crisis in the not too distant future if the situation remained unchanged.

He also condemned encroachment on nature reserves and water courses, arguing that it disturbed the natural recharging of the water-table system with its resultant negative effects on water supply and agricultural production.

“In Africa; south of the Sahara, a possible water crisis is looming. It is imminent and not a prophecy .The situation is being precipitated by the flagrant abuse of rivers and other water bodies and the lingering climate change.

“The earlier we adopted the necessary measures to remedy the situation, the better it will be for our survival,” Nana Dwomoh-Sarpong added.