The Acting Brong-Ahafo Regional Manager of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Clement Kuukaayeng, has disclosed that Municipal and District Assemblies in the region owed the company over GH¢9.7 million in bills, while the arrears for private clients (members of the general public) stood at GH¢4.24 million.
According to him, Sunyani currently had a water supply deficit of 4.4 million gallons per day, adding that “the company has a master plan to construct a 10.3 million gallons capacity project for Sunyani to last up to 2030, at an estimated cost of $224 million.”
He was speaking at a forum where all regional departmental heads were given the platform to brief the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, on their core duties, challenges, and the way forward.
Mr. Kuukaayeng indicated that illegal mining and farming along the banks of the Tano River had become a major challenge for the production of quality drinking water for the residents of Sunyani and its surrounding areas.
He said the recent severe water shortage was due to the activities of illegal small-scale miners and farmers, who have farmed along the river banks.
According to him, the activities of those illegal operators increased the cost of production, despite the drying up of the Tano River during the drying season.
He gave the assurance that the concerns of the people of Acherensua on poor quality of water supply due to the breakdown of their pumps at the Acherensua water works, would be resolved in the shortest possible time.
The Acting Manager admitted that the people of Acherensua were being supplied with water from boreholes drilled as an alternative source, after the breakdown of some pumps at the water works.
It was, however, detected later that the quality of water from the boreholes was not up to the standard.
On his part, the Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission, Thomas Okyere, said the region currently had 21 forest reserves, covering an area of 2,911.5 square kilometres. He mentioned bushfires, illegal logging, illegal mining, chain saw operations, and trans-boundary security concerns as some of the challenges facing his outfit.
Mr. Okyere said measures had been instituted to help curb these challenges, which have serious negative effects on the lives of the people of the region and the country as a whole, especially the poor quality of water to be treated at additional cost before delivery to the various households and workplaces.
From Michael Boateng, Sunyani.