Illegal mining activities in the Brong Ahafo region have silted the Tano River causing it to dry up for the first time in 40 years.

Despite the long period of drought in the region, the residents believe the increasing activities of galamsey operators significantly contributed to the siltation of the river which is the source of water supply to homes.

The Ghana Water Company (GWC) in the region’s capital Sunyani, has had to shut down its water treatment plant which drew its water mainly the Tano River.

Many communities have resorted to fetching water from dug-outs and wells for domestic use.

Joy News’ Mohammed Nurudeen paid a visit to some communities in the area and reports that many residents are struggling to get water.

Students, traders and other businesses, he reports, have had to abandon some of their regular daily activities to join long queues in search for water.

A young girl whose schooling is being affected by the development told Mohammed it is extremely difficult to get water to bath.

Her mother, she added, also struggles to get water to prepare meals at home.

Another resident said “for more than one month now, the taps in my house do not flow. So every night, I have to roam about in search for water…even the little to use in bathing is a problem.”

Regional Chief Manager of the GWC, Charles Brobbey said the company has shut down the treatment plant due to the drying up of the river.

“Initially, when we saw that the water level was going down, we decided to manage the little water we had, we did it for two weeks then we realized that the levels were going down further.

"So we were doing 50 percent capacity intermittently so the capacity was far reduced, but as I speak to you now, we have shut down the plant completely,” he added.