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Quarry activities threaten water supply in Sekondi/Takoradi, Shama

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu

Water supply to residents of and industries in Sekondi/Takoradi and the Shama District in the Western Region is likely to be disrupted because of the activities of a quarry company in the area.

Activities of commercial sand winners and the quarry company have affected the water quantity and quality of the River Anankori, which is the source for the Inchaban intake point of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) where the water is treated for onward distribution to the people.

The water treatment plant, with an installed capacity of four million gallons a day, is currently supplying less than 1.2 million gallons a day.

The water has been polluted because of the use of dynamite by the quarry company, the Osam Duodu Company.

The company has been accused of drilling in the middle of the river and also using dynamite in its activities.

It is also constructing a sea defence wall at New Amanful in the Ahanta West District.

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When officials of the GWCL and a team of journalists paid a visit to the Inchaban water intake point yesterday, it was realised that some of the tributaries of the River Anankori had been blocked by boulders that had been used to fill the tributaries to facilitate the movement of heavy-duty trucks that carry boulders from the river.

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There were also seven earth-moving and drilling equipment on site.

At some portions of the river, the contractor had planted more than 50 holes filled with dynamite ready for blasting, while a number of trucks had queued up waiting to be loaded with boulders.

Inchaban intake

The Western Regional Manager of the GWCL, Mr Mark Teiko Cudjo, described the situation as alarming, adding: “This should be deemed as a national emergency and looming disaster.”

He claimed that despite warnings by his outfit, the company still continued with its activities.

“To ensure that we have our backs covered, we reported the matter to the Western Regional Coordinating Council, the police and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which asked the contractor to stop work and reclaim the affected areas,” he claimed.

According to Mr Cudjo, about a week ago, the GWCL realised that the water level at the Inchaban intake point was going down when it was supposed to be swelling up.

“This, we realised, was not normal and, therefore, decided to investigate, leading to these shocking revelations of the activities by the same contractor who was asked to stop work.

They have expanded their operations not only around the river course but also blocked the water from flowing into the intake point,” he said.

“The contractor also sinks dynamite in the river and blasts the rock underground, thereby dividing the river into two.

He has also created an embankment to prevent water from flowing through rubbles, obviously forgetting the effects on the treatment plant at Inchaban,” he added.

Assurance

The Western Regional Police Commander, Mr Redeemer V. Dedjoe, gave an assurance that the contractor would be compelled to rectify the situation and that the police were currently investigating the matter.

Even though the contractor claimed to have the necessary permit allowing them to carry out his quarry activities, he could not produce it.