Asutsuare farmers express concern over alleged water contamination
Some farmers at Asutsuare in the Shai Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region have appealed for a test to be conducted on water in the area to establish the veracity or otherwise of its suspected contamination.
According to the farmers, they suspected the water they were using on their farms had been polluted by chemicals and waste materials allegedly discharged into the water by a manufacturing company operating in the community.
When the Daily Graphic visited some farmlands at Asutsuare last week, a number of dead fish were seen in a section of the drains through which water flowed into the Volta Lake.
There were also some foamy substances in the water that were drifting downstream into the Lomey River and the Volta Lake.
Mr Patrick Ansah Zoiku, a farmer, said the hitherto clean water which the indigenes used for farming and bathing now smelled of chemicals used by the manufacturing firm, Shinefeel Ghana Company, which produces toilet rolls, egg crates, paint, plastic products and roofing sheets.
He said the farmers in the area could no longer depend on the water for their farming activities, since it could be dangerous applying it on crops.
Another resident, Mr Dauda Tetteh, claimed that despite numerous complaints by the people, the company continued to discharge waste materials into the Lome River, which also serves as a source of drinking water for some people downstream.
“We have complained to the managers of the factory over the matter but all our pleas have gone unattended to. We, the youth of the area, are fed up and want to call on the company to find alternative ways of discharging its waste,” he said.
In his response, the Corporate Affairs Manager of Shinefeel Ghana Ltd, Mr John Awuku Dziwornu, denied the claims.
He said treated waste water from the company flowed through a drain to join the main Kpong irrigation system that had over 3,000 acres of land on which rice was produced.
Mr Dziwornu said even though Asutsuare and its environs had access to potable water, some people had decided to use water from the river for their daily activities.
The manager admitted that when power went off, it affected the company’s filtration system which might have caused some leakages.
He, however, denied that that led to the discharge of poisonous materials into the drain.
According to Mr Dziwornu, the people were speaking out of ignorance and said the company would support any form of testing by the appropriate regulatory agencies.
The District Environmental Health Officer, Mr Julius Totime, said currently there was no scientific proof that the alleged pollution was linked to the waste discharged from the factory.
He said most of the waste generated went through some processes before it was discharged into the Volta Lake and suggested that proper laboratory tests be conducted on the waste material.
According to him, his outfit conducted regular monitoring of the company to ensure that the management adhered to standards.