The Water Resources Commission has uncovered the shocking effects of illegal and unregulated mining activities on the country’s water bodies.
He said such unregulated mining activities was also costing the Ghana Water Company a substantial amount of money to procure chemicals for water treatment and supply.
Dr Ben Ampomah, the Director of the Water Resources Commission of Ghana, said illegal mining did more harm than expected over the period to the country’s water resources and must not be allowed to continue.
He was speaking during a visit of the Sector Minister, Ms Cecilia Dapaah and Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, and other authorities to the Western Region to assess the effects of unregulated mining on the country’s natural resources.
For instance, in 2007, the turbidity level of most waters was around 54 Nephelometric Turbidity unit, that is the unit used to measure the turbidity of a fluid or the presence of suspended particles in water, with colour around 200 HU but the situation had worsened to about 3000 NTU for turbidity and 5000 HU for colour, an expensive venture for water quality management.
Dr Ampomah said the introduction of the ban on illegal mining between 2013 and 2017 improved water colour and turbidity but did not last long due to relaxed measures.
The Director was of the view that enforcing laws regarding unregulated small scale mining would help improve the live-in water bodies and save the country the most cost in water treatment.
Dr Clifford Braimah, the Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company, noted the need for stakeholders to join forces to address the menace.
“We do it for ourselves and no one else,” he added.