The first ever ‘science café’, which provided the platform for environmentalists, sociologists and research scientists to discuss effective ways to deal with the growing water pollution has ended in Kumasi.
It was organized by the College of Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in response to the massive destruction of water bodies across the country, threatening aquatic and human life.
“Combating water pollution in Ghana – the role of the quintuple helix”, was the theme chosen for the programme.
Dr. Reginald Annan, a Senior Lecturer at the University’s Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, and Coordinator for the Café, described as deeply troubling the extent to which many of the rivers and streams had been destroyed.
“We are on the verge of losing all our precious resources through our own negligence and disrespect for nature.”
He identified the South-Western parts of the country, where illegal mining was more pronounced and widespread as the hardest hit.
It is estimated that about 60 per cent of the water bodies is polluted. This has been the result of uncontrolled industrial and household waste disposal and farming.
Dr. Annan said there was an urgent need for multi-stakeholder approach to deal with the problem since “water represent the very life of mankind”.
He added that, to meet the sustainable development goal (SDG) on water and sanitation, it was pertinent for everybody to get actively involved in the effort at protecting the water bodies.
The SDG demands that action is taken to promote access to safe water and sanitation and sound management of freshwater ecosystems as these are essential to human health, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity.
Mr. Vincent Ankama-Lomotey, the Lead Discussant, said the chosen theme reflected the havoc caused by illegal mining, which had elicited public outcry.
He rallied stakeholders to work together to save the environment.
Topics discussed included ‘water bodies and their importance to the ecology’, ‘dealing with illegal small-scale mining’, ‘enforcing environmental bye-laws’ and ‘the role of the government, academia, industry, media and environmentalists in combating water pollution’.