March 19, 2018

We should all be concerned about the water crisis in Ghana

Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) announced its intention to ration water supply to certain communities due to the lack of rainfall which has led to open water bodies drying up. This is not the first time that GWCL has had to take these measures to minimise the risk of a water crisis in Ghana. If the history of drought is anything to go by, we should all be concerned about what now seems to be a yearly occurrence.  

In 2014 the breakdown of the Weija treatment plant led to acute water shortages in Accra. In 2015 GWCL warned of the potential water shortage across the country by 2025 if measures were not put in place to reduce the pollution of water bodies. In 2016 several regions were affected by water shortages with Nsawam being hit the worst and last year the Tano river dried up for the first time in 40 years at the time when three other regions were also facing water shortages.

As with most news stories in the country, everyone soon forgets after the hype dies down until the following year when the water crisis in Ghana hits again.

It’s the start of 2018 and once again here we are with headlines warning of a water crisis in Ghana. As is common with humanitarian crisis, it is always the underserved communities or the disadvantaged in society who are hit worse. But let’s not forget the implications of a water crisis in Ghana on food production and health which puts the whole nation at risk of famine and disease.  The announcement by GWCL to ration water supply is a good occasion to have another conversation about climate change and the human factor.

Whether the water shortage is due to the break down of a treatment plant, the lack of rainfall or elevated levels of pollutants in our water bodies we all need to be aware and responsible in our everyday activities that contribute to climate change and water shortage to alleviate the burden.

So next time you move your vehicle for a 2km journey with an hour in traffic consider walking the distance (your body will thank you for it). Perhaps you can support the educational campaign on illegal mining activities. How about you encourage your neighbour to harvest and use rain water. Better still plant a tree to compensate for the several others we’re cutting down.  If no one thanks you today, generations to come will forever be grateful.