Water shortage

Water shortage has hit Cape Coast and surrounding towns in the Central Region due to illegal mining activities affecting River Pra.

According to the Ghana Water Company, residents now hunt for water as the taps have run dry. This is because the Sekyere-Hemang water treatment plant keeps battling for water with galamsey miners.

The residents say water has not passed through their taps for days; making life unbearable for them.

The treatment plant in the Western region, built in 2008 at a cost of €40 million, takes water from a portion of the 240km Pra River and treats it for onward pumping into Brimsu waterworks in Cape coast.

From the waterworks, about 2million gallons of water will then be pumped for residents in Cape Coast and its environs. This is on a daily basis.

Cape Coast and its environs hold about 300,000 residents and the consequence of the galamsey activities is at least half of the city and its environs going without water.

Water shortage hits Cape Coast; GWCL blames galamsey activities
Current raw water level at Sekyere Hemang Headworks intake

According to the Ghana Water Company, the river’s waterbed is left unsettled whiles poisonous chemicals are drained into the river.

Central Regional distribution Manager of GWCL, Thomas Amenya, explains that the galamsey activities have made siltation and turgidity checks very difficult.

“We are having very low levels at Sekyere Hemang Headworks as a result of heavy siltation (due to illegal mining activities). We are compelled to occasionally shut down to do desilting to enable us build requisite levels,” he explained.

He indicated that as a result, Cape Coast and its environs may be experiencing “no or low” flow at a point and “wants residents to bear with them”.

Mr. Amenya further avers: “Lack of constant supply from Sekyere Hermang Headworks to augment that of Brimsu Headworks means almost 40% shortfall in the total production volumes for Cape Coast township.”

He is, therefore, entreating residents to bear with the company whiles measures are put in place to resolve the production challenges.