Some residents competing with animals for water at a dam
Some residents competing with animals for water at a dam

Tamale, Sagnarigu suffer acute water shortage

Many communities in the Tamale Metropolis and Sagnarigu Municipality in the Northern Region have been hit with acute water shortage for some time now as a result of inadequate supply by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).


The recurrent situation has partly been attributed to increasing activities of sand mining at the water treatment plant at Dalun, coupled with the growing population of the twin cities have resulted in dwindling water supply to the affected areas.

The dire situation has compelled some of the people to compete with animals for untreated water from nearby dams and dugouts.

Hundreds of people are seen daily with yellow gallons on motorbikes, tricycles and bicycles searching for water from streams and dams.

Also, water tanker services have become difficult as drivers have to stay in long queues for many hours at water supply points.

Apart from health implications and financial burden to residents, the prevailing situation has also compelled some workers and schoolchildren to report late to work and school.

Some students in search of water

Some students in search of water

A drum of untreated water is sold at GH¢5 by private water tankers, while a yellow gallon of borehole water is sold at GH¢3.

A full water tanker ranges from GH¢300 to GH¢350, depending on the number of gallons the water tanker contains.

When the Daily Graphic toured some of the communities last Saturday, some residents were seen standing deep in dams fetching water, competing with animals who were also struggling to get their portion of water.

The affected communities are Fuo, Kukuo, Chanshegu, Kpawomo, Dugyili, Taha, Sagnarigu-Kukuo, Koblimahigu, Jakarayili, Zujung, Kukuo and Dohini.


Some residents, who spoke to the Daily Graphic said that they had been drinking the untreated water during dry seasons over the years because they had no means of treating it.

"We have been battling with this situation for some time now, our only source of water is the dugouts, which are not safe for consumption, but we don’t have the means to treat the water,” Adam Nimatu, a resident of Kukuo, said.

She added that aside from the health risk of drinking the untreated water, her shea butter business had also collapsed because she was not able to get clean water to process the butter.

Another resident, Sulemana Amishaw, lamented: "I cannot remember the last time I drew water from the tap because anytime the water company opens the taps, it is locked after some minutes."

They, therefore, appealed to the government to come to their aid by resolving the perennial water crisis.

Urgent action

On February 13, 2014, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, demanded urgent action to address the acute water shortages in the area.

In a statement on the floor of the House, the former Minority Leader said the situation had put hospitals and schools under significant stress.

He called for a resolution to the annual sufferings the people go through just to access water for domestic and commercial use.


When contacted, the Northern Regional Public Relations Officer of GWCL, Humai-Raau Wunimi Imoro, blamed the situation on the growing population as the current quantity of water being produced could no longer meet the needs of residents.

She said the situation had compelled the company to ration water to residents.


While asking the people to bear with them as they work hard to increase their production capacity, she urged them to use water judiciously.

Writer's email: [email protected]

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