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Ghana to host Volta River Basin Conference in May

Ghana to host Volta River Basin Conference in May

Ghana will host the Volta River Basin Authority (VBA) Ministerial Conference from May 6th to 10th, aimed at deepening the resolve for the sustainable management of the basin for the common good of Ghana and her neighbouring countries.

Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, who announced the upcoming conference on Tuesday, said Ghana, through its membership of the VBA, had co-operated with its five neighbouring countries in ensuring the rational and sustainable management of the water resources of the Volta Basin.

Tuesday 23rd April, 2019

Ghana to host Volta River Basin Conference in May

By Lydia Kukua Asamoah, GNA

Accra, April 23, GNA – Ghana will host the Volta River Basin Authority (VBA) Ministerial Conference from May 6th to 10th, aimed at deepening the resolve for the sustainable management of the basin for the common good of Ghana and her neighbouring countries.

Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, who announced the upcoming conference on Tuesday, said Ghana, through its membership of the VBA, had co-operated with its five neighbouring countries in ensuring the rational and sustainable management of the water resources of the Volta Basin.

The countries are; Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali and Togo, all of which, are expected to participate in the May River Conference.

Taking her turn at the meet-the-press series in Accra, Ms Dapaah said the Ministry would continue to collaborate with neighbouring countries in the management of the water resources that were commonly shared.

She said the country’s total natural endowment of renewable freshwater resources was currently estimated to be 53.4 billion cubic meters per year, of which only 14 per cent was currently being abstracted for various uses.

She, however, stated that the quality of Ghana’s water resources were deteriorating due to natural and human factors, such that, of the 16 major river basins, 65 per cent had water quality indexes of less than, 50 per cent and, therefore, were of poor quality, with 15 per cent of these, being critical at the end of 2016.

The Ministry, through the Water Resources Commission, therefore, put in place strategies and programmes that were critical to ensure the regulation and sustainable development and management of the country’s fresh water resources.

Ms Dapaah said, to continue to protect and improve Ghana’s water resources, the Ministry through the Water Commission was finalising arrangements with the Dutch Water Authority to provide support from 2019-2022 under the Blue Deal programme to promote partnerships for the management and regulations of water resources at the local level in the Volta Basin.

The ultimate target was to improve water quality and availability, mitigate the impacts of floods, and improve ecosystem services thereby improving livelihoods of communities in the Volta Basin in Ghana.

According to the Minister, the government was committed to implementing short-term measures to mitigate the impacts of floods on lives, farmlands and property within the White Volta Basin, due to heavy rainfall in Ghana and Burkina Faso and spillage from the Bagré reservoir in Burkina Faso.

She said as part of the processes, a ministerial task-force chaired by the Minister of Food and Agriculture was established, to among others, undertake the dredging of the three legs of confluences of the Kulkpong, Sissili, Nasia and Nabogo tributaries joining the main White Volta channel, and to desilt and train the meandering sections between the confluence of the Red Volta and downstream a bit of the Pwalugu Bridge.

The taskforce would construct about 50 earthen dams of reasonable volume within selected communities, Install and upgrade 12 real time river level recorders, to provide support equipment to forecast river and flood levels efficiently and to embark on aggressive awareness campaign, among others.

“The efficient and effective management of our water resources provides adequate and quality raw water for Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to treat and distribute safe water within the urban centres”, the Minister said.

Currently, urban water coverage stands at 71 per cent, while the national demand for urban water currently stands at 310.3 Million Gallons Per Day (MGD) and production was 217.5MGD.

The Ministry in collaboration with the Ghana Water Company Limited are working to close the current deficit of 92.8MGD, Ms Dapaah said.

Source: GNA

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