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Illegal Mining: Take action now; River tributaries in the north are dying – GWCL Boss

Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Dr. Clifford Braimah has disclosed that some tributaries of rivers in the northern part of the country are ‘dying’ due to ‘galamsey’ activities.

According to him, rock sediments and residues from the ‘galamsey’ pits as well as other activities such as the desilting of rivers have caused the tributaries to die.

Speaking on Newsfile, Saturday, Dr. Braimah noted that evaporation as a result of climate change and the cutting down of trees has also contributed to the situation.

“If you go to the north, some of the tributaries of our rivers are dying. They are dying because we are creating sediments into the reservoirs and for that matter increase the surface area and because of the climate change, the evaporation is increasing,” he said.

He cautioned that if the activities of illegal miners are not halted, there would be a critical problem with water supply in the country.

Dr. Braimah stressed that these activities will at some point force the GWCL to shut down its pumping machines if the turbidity gets to a level that the plants cannot contain.

“Our pumps are not waste water pumps, our pumps are not manufactured to carry grid. Our machines are supposed to carry surface clean portable water and that is what we will have to do,” he added.

Earlier this year, an erratic water shortage hit some parts of the country. The GWCL blamed the shortage of water on activities of illegal mining in the various water bodies.

Communications Manager for Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) Stanley Martey in January warned of an imminent water crisis in the country if proactive steps are not taken to address illegal mining.

Speaking on Joy News’ The Pulse on Monday, January 17, Stanley Martey noted that the company is currently working on producing around 60% capacity of water; stressing that it is not enough for Ghana’s 31 million population.

“The little water in the system, our brothers who are involved in ‘galamsey’ operations now operate their activities in earnest and so the little water is also almost destroyed,” Mr. Martey said.

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