Graphic Online 

Time to preserve our water bodies

Author: Daily Graphic

The importance of water to man’s existence cannot be overemphasised. Indeed, in centuries past, the availability of water was a major consideration for the settlement of people in particular places and there was no community without a source of drinking water.

That is why it is generally believed that water is life.

Many communities have spent huge resources to ensure the availability and sustenance of water for domestic and commercial use and the absence of water in any community has dire effects on the activities of the people.

That is why the ongoing water rationing by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in eight out of the 10 regions is of great concern to us at the Daily Graphic.

The GWCL is currently rationing water supply to its customers as a result of the low levels of its water intake points.

Apart from the fact that the dry season has set in, some activities of the citizenry have exacerbated the problem, leading to the need to ration water supply.

The Head of Communications at the GWCL told the Daily Graphic that the Western Region and the three northern regions were the worst affected, with the situation in the Western Region reaching alarming proportions as a result of the low level of the River Pra, the major intake point for water for treatment in the region.

He said in that region, “we are only able to utilise about 40 per cent of the capacity of the treatment plant”, while in the  Northern Region the sources of water supply -- the Nawuni and the Yendi rivers -- had virtually dried up.

No doubt the situation is due largely to human activity. Many of the water sources are highly polluted through the activities of galamsey operators, as well as residents who throw refuse indiscriminately into water bodies.

Moreover, the vegetative cover over most of our water bodies has been cut for other purposes, while most of our farmlands have been filled with brick and mortar.

Given the activities of Operation Vanguard, we are hopeful that the widespread destruction of our water bodies will be stemmed. There is also the need for further education of the populace to reduce the level of pollution to save our water bodies.

As a long-term solution, the Daily Graphic would like to encourage the up-scaling of tree planting programmes to ensure the sustenance of the environment and the availability of water because trees are at the heart of the water network, with experts saying that the crown of a large tree is a reservoir for as much as 100 gallons of water.

Again, we must endeavour to develop self-sustaining, long-term water systems to sustain life and the well-being of the people. To be able to do this, we should not leave actions in the hands of the GWCL alone.

It is time to assist the GWCL by reporting all illegal connections and any faults that we come across for rectification.

We must all recognise that there is no substitute for water.