Water Aid Ghana has presented a five year comprehensive Water Security Plan to the Bawku West and Bongo District Assemblies to help them develop systematic way to secure and sustain water supply for communities and for multiple use in the coming years.
The plans are expected to cost the two assemblies 7.2 million dollars to implement a more robust and climate resilient water systems and enhance community based adaptation and resilience in the emergence of the effects of climate change.
The plans were developed by experts and staff of the two assemblies in collaboration with the Water Resources Commission, (WRC) Community Water and Sanitation, Environmental Protection Agency and the Ghana Meteorological Agency.
Mr Abdul -Nashiru Mohammed, Country Director of Water Aid Ghana who presented the plans to the beneficiary assemblies indicated that the Bawku West District Assembly required 3.7 million dollars while the Bongo Assembly needed 3.5 million dollars to implement the plans.
Mr Mohammed said implementing the plans were not just for tangibles such as boreholes, and hand dug wells but added that significant aspects of the plan included water resource management learning over the years, software management and above all sensitization of communities to take ownership and manage the resources upon which water abstraction depended.
Mr Felix Gberivellah, Programmes Officer at Water Aid who highlighted the essence of the water security plans, in an interview with the media indicated that water bodies were becoming a threat since boreholes were drying up in these districts with the expectation that there will be scarcity of water in the shortest time, if such contingences were not taken to the water tables.
He stressed that the water tables were so low that it is affecting sustainability of surface and underground water.
“our boreholes are drying up because the water tables are low and so surface water are drying up due to human actions and natural events resulting in climate change” he added.
Mr Gberivillah said water bodies, wetlands, dams and streams and underground water were to be conserved and therefore they needed to be protected and maintained for good quality and continual use to serve the diverse needs of communities.
In this light, the Programme Officer said the plans were for the assemblies to manage the resource, and maintain water quality which required them to put in measures to maintain healthy diverse ecosystems, and indicated that the plans when implemented would support them to meet those needs.
Other benefits included the construction of more dams and boreholes and the sensitization of beneficiary communities in awareness creation to enable them take actions to manage water resources and the environment.
Explaining why the two districts were chosen over others, he indicated that Water Aid had ongoing projects in the two districts, and considered the socio economic indicators of the areas which were hard hit.
He added that the selection of the two districts would maximize impact instead of spreading the project widely in the region with less funding and gave the assurance that the project would cover other districts in future if his outfit gets more resources for that. He reminded government, development partners and the assemblies of the need to invest more in these areas to successfully implement the plans.
Mr Andrew Asaviansa, Assistant Basin Officer at the WRC indicated that there was difficulty in assessing groundwater data and said there was no mandated institution to provide such data, adding that the Water Resources Commission if resourced well could support in that area.
He however noted that data on surface water through hydrological services provided only information on abstraction and not on ground water.