I am getting it hard to understand why same government who robbed chiefs and traditional authorities of the ancestral or customary rights on water resources for the Water Resources Commission in 1996 has failed to manage, regulate and provide potable water for citizenry.
It is sad to note from the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) document 2003 that, as many as 81 percent of the rural population in Ghana have no access to potable water.
Drink Safe Water Ghana regret to caution that, this has serious implications for the health of the population since households without access to potable water tend to rely on other unhygienic sources including mobile water tankers, fixed vendors of water, shallow and deep wells and boreholes.
Prior to the advent of colonialism and statutory laws, WRC Act 1996, customary laws evolved rules to govern the use of water.
However today, customary rules governing the use of water have thus been supplemented by statutory norms in line with changing socio – economic and political dictates.
Fact is, WRC Act 1996 vests the property in and control of all water resources in the President on behalf of and in trust for, the people of Ghana.
It is clear that, since this enactment, Ghana has remained in a complete state of mess with our water resources been polluted with human waste disposal and open defecation.
On November 13, 2017, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo – Addo declared at the state banquet hall that, his government, NPP will make Accra cleanest city in Africa, however this has remained a complete illusion.
The Mahama NDC led administration though introduced the monthly mandatory clean up exercise in all parts of the country, it has failed to thrive and gain stand at the ruling government who has called for observation of everyday ‘a sanitation day’.
Why has government taken over, yet failing on its fight in protection and sustainability of water resources in the country.
All members of the Water Resources Commission (WRC) are appointed by the President acting in consultation with the council of state.
This indicates the importance of the subject matter.
Curiously, there is only one representation for the chiefs, another clear indication of the diminution in their role as authorities on the subject of water management.
If there is anything wrong, Ghanaians should think through when the ancestral rights were taken from the chiefs in 1996 for WRC.
If you are in Ghana and drinking from bad source, contact the following.
-Council of state
– the Ghana Water Company Limited
– Organisations producing water.
– the Hydrology department and the ministry of sanitation and water resources- VRA
– the Irrigation Development Authority (IDA)
– the Water Resources Research Institute
– the Meteorological Service
– Forestry commission
– Executive secretary
– a chief and two others, of whom one must be a woman.
Remember, the customary rights even approved of type of calabash or bucket to use in fetching surface water.
There were days prohibited from going to certain streams or rivers.
Communal activities were carried out effectively to protect water bodies.
Farming and mining was not allowed close water bodies. Sadly, these are no more and these rights and practices have evaporated leaving us bad water and polluted environments.
Drink Safe Water Ghana loves you and entreat you to join us in demanding our water rights.
If the powers have been stripped from chiefs and traditional authorities, then Water Resources Commission must be ready to fix our water problems, we do not want polluted and acidic water.
Written by Krobea Asante, Executive Coordinator for Drink Safe Water Ghana on 0545814062 / 0262449313.