Lake Bosomtwi must not die

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The country’s water bodies are under threat from the effects of climate change and negative human activities.

The list includes rivers, lakes, streams, lagoons and dams.

The Odaw River in Accra that used to be full of aquatic life of all kinds is now dead and has become a receptacle for waste materials.

The Weija Dam, which is a few kilometres from Accra, is under siege from human activities of all kinds, such as encroachment by estate developers, stone and sand winners and farmers.

These unproductive activities have increased the budget of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in its efforts at treating the water from the dam for use by residents of the western part of Accra.

All major rivers are under threat. No wonder, although our country is blessed with a number of rivers, we are crying for water for domestic and industrial use.

Very active rivers that nourished the environment and provided opportunities for fishing, irrigation and fresh water for treatment by the GWCL are paling into oblivion.

The River Birim offered opportunities to majority of the people in the Akyem areas in the Eastern Region but, unfortunately, today the activities of galamsey operators have destroyed the river and damaged water systems.

Rivers Pra, Ankobra, Ayensu, Tano, Volta and Oti have not been spared the negative effects of human activities such as illegal mining and logging, as well as farming.

The Daily Graphic thinks that we have reached a stage where the state has to take certain actions to stem the tide of destruction of our water bodies.

We are concerned about the destruction of our water bodies, but action has been very slow and if we want to avoid water shortage in future, then we must go to the basics to protect the rivers.

The Daily Graphic calls on the government not to joke with the threat to our water bodies because data available indicate that the next fight over resources will be over the control of water bodies.

We have been blessed with very strategic water bodies, some of which have been used to undertake important projects such as hydro electric dams, potable water systems and dams for agriculture.

It is for this reason that the Daily Graphic calls on the government to act swiftly to save Lake Bosomtwi.

According to a report by the Water Resources Commission (WRC), all aquatic life, including fish, in the Lake Bosomtwi would suffer extinction within the next two years if cages for fish farming introduced on the lake were not halted.

It said the use of cages and the introduction of algae had resulted in the depletion of oxygen, causing the death of other organisms such as fish in the lake.

The report indicated that there had been complaints from 13 communities of depleting fish stock, reduction in water volumes and skin itching.

The report of the WRC gives the impression that no research was conducted to establish the possible effects of fish farming on the lake, otherwise an impact assessment plan would have thrown up the merits and demerits of the introduction of the fish cages on the lake.

The Daily Graphic recalls that years ago the Bosomtwi Lake provided the platform for recreation and hospitality facilities that can be used by tourists and visitors to the site. The economic and aesthetic value of the lake is being lost to the negative exploitation of our natural resources.

We, therefore, appeal to the authorities to take steps to halt further destruction of the lake and other activities that threaten the livelihoods and health of the people in the area.