File photo: The joint task force (JTF) overseeing the nationwide ban on small scale and illegal mining in Ghana, Operation Vanguard

The Executive Director of the Water Resource Commission (WRC), Dr. Bob Alfa, has warned about the growing danger posed by illegal mining, known locally as galamsey, to water security and the ultimate threat to peace in Ghana and with neighboring countries.

Dr. Alfa highlighted that Ghana relies on water resources not only within its borders but also from neighboring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, and Togo, constituting 30% of its water supply.

He stressed the importance of cooperation with neighboring countries to manage water resources prudently, citing Ghana’s proud participation in water resource cooperation agreements

“We get 30% of our water resource outside Ghana. Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin and Togo. So this year’s theme is critical for countries like these. We need to cooperate with our neighboribg countries and also manage the resources prudently because other countries also receive water from our borders. Out of about 152 countries that share rivers, lakes, and aquifers with other countries only a few have corporation agreements for the utilization of water resources. I am proud to announce that Ghana is one of those countries.”

Dr. Bob Alfa added that “Water is a catalyst for socio-economic development we there have to quicken out effort at every level to protect our water resources for present and future generations”.

During this year’s World Water Day celebrations in Potroase community near Kibi, Eastern Region, under the theme: “Leveraging water for peace,” Dr. Alfa urged for collective action to combat galamsey and other activities polluting water bodies together.

“It is our sincere hope we eradicate galamsey activities which is the number one threat to our water security issue in this country and also posses as a danger to peace that we could all enjoy together. I therefore call on all of us to fight galamsey together”

Recent statistics indicate a significant decline in the quality of the nation’s water resources, decreasing from 86 percent to 58.8 percent.

Kwabena Gyasi, Head of the Water Directorate at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resource, appealed to the public to report any activities contributing to water pollution to the authorities.

Nana Barima Ansah Sasraku II, Chief of Kibi Potroase, expressed dismay over the degradation of local water bodies due to illegal mining activities. He called for immediate intervention from the Ghana Water Company and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to protect these vital resources and apprehend perpetrators.

The United Nations World Water Development Report 2024, released today, further underscores the urgency of water management for peace and prosperity. It emphasizes the need for international cooperation and integrated water resources management approaches to address transboundary water challenges.

Source: Ghana/ Ansah