The Manhyia Palace has warned inhabitants in the Ashanti Region against pulling down trees that are four hundred meters away from water bodies in the region.
The Palace has also given an ultimatum to all farmers engaging in activities hundred meters into the designated buffer zones to cease operations by June to help protect water bodies.
This comes after the Ghana Water Company in the Ashanti region lamented that the activities of encroachers and illegal miners were negatively affecting water supply in the region, as major water bodies had been invaded.
According to the Ghana Water Company, its operations in the Ashanti Region have been adversely affected by human activities such as land development close to water bodies, farming activities and illegal mining.
With respect to illegal mining and farming activities beyond the designated buffer zones, the Ghana Water Company says the water gets badly polluted as a result of the chemicals and this makes purifying the water very difficult and expensive.
The officials say the activities have led to an astronomical increase in production cost as they spend more on ensuring the provision of quality water.
Speaking to Citi News, the Ashanti regional water quality manager at the Ghana Water Company, Alhaji Adam Yakubu, said there is a need for urgent attention to bring the situation under control.
“Our systems are made for a specific design capacity, therefore, when we treat water, part of the water is thrown away as dirty water as a result of the treatment. As these activities continue, the dirty aspect of the water tends to increase. Therefore, the available water for the consuming public tends to reduce even though the plant capacity is intact. But because of the poor quality of the raw water, it reduces the available water we finally send to the public. So, I will urge that more work is done to curtail these sorts of activities”.
The Water resources commission, which is collaborating with other stakeholders to control the menace, wants sanctions to be meted out to persons who flout the laid down rules.
A Senior Basin Officer of water resources commission in the Ashanti Region, Abena Dufie Wiredu in an interview with Citi News noted that stakeholders should see the protection of the water bodies as a priority in order to ensure a sustainable supply of water.
Meanwhile, in order to ensure the regular supply of water in the region, the Manhyia Palace has cautioned residents in the region to desist from pulling down trees four hundred meters away from water bodies in the region.
Speaking to Citi News, the Programmes Coordinator of the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Programme, Fred Kyei said the Palace had also given an ultimatum to all farmers engaging in activities hundred meters into the designated buffer zones to cease operations by June to help protect water bodies and ensure sustainable water supply in the region.
He made the statement after having an engagement with some farmers at Barekese in the Ashanti region.
“Nobody is supposed to cut a tree within four hundred (400) from any water body in the Asante Kingdom. If you cut a tree, you know the rule, you will plant a hundred. The second thing is that, those who have already planted within the hundred meters buffer zones, we have given them up to June to stop planting so that we can plant grass and trees to make sure that we arrest erosion and then reduce the turbidity of our water bodies”.
The leader of a group of farmers, who had encroached portions of the Barekese Dam, Daniel Bernard Kumoro spoke to Citi News on their willingness to comply with the directive and not to go beyond the designated area.
“For the love of Ashanti region and everything we have been taught today, we will practice it and ensure that we plant a number of trees here. Also starting today, we will desist from planting closer to the river by following the 100meter rule so that we can preserve our water bodies for our own benefit”.
The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as part of a new strategy has initiated a new strategy to plant more trees closer to various water bodies in the region to help preserve them.