Special security agency needed to protect natural resources

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Navrongo (UE) Aug. 6, GNA – Mr Walanyo Kwadjo Siabi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, says the Government should establish a special security agency to protect natural resources.

He made this known in a lecture he delivered on: ‘WASH in Ghana-Best Practices and Lessons Learned,’ organised at the Faculty of Applied Sciences of the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Navrongo in the Upper East Region.

The UDS/CWSA first WASH Conference on the theme: ‘Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Challenges, Successes and the Way forward with Academia,’ was sponsored by Water Aid, World Vision, SNV, The Netherlands based organisation and Fila Fm among brought together players in the WASH sectors and the Academia to chart a way forward to help confront the challenges.

Mr Siabi said many fresh water bodies including the Black Volta, Pra, Densu and Ankrobra were being heavily polluted beyond the natural self-cleansing abilities.

He attributed the problem to the inability of the country to implement policies and enforce laws relating to integrated water management.

He however commended the efforts of stakeholders including researchers and the Government for fighting the pollution of surface water.

Mr Siabi said: ‘Ninety-five per cent of rural and some urban water supplies are provided through groundwater.

‘It is necessary to remind ourselves that up to 33 per cent of our groundwater supplies through either boreholes fitted with hand pumps for small communities or mechanised boreholes for small towns piped systems are contaminated with excess fluoride, arsenic, sodium chlorides, calcium hardness, iron or manganese.’

He stated that as a result of the problem about 9,000 boreholes that were constructed throughout the country with most of them being in northern Ghana, had been capped due to fluoride content and called for collaboration between the UDS and the CWSA to conduct research to help fix the problem.

Dr Isaac Sakyi, Dean of Applied Sciences, stated that UDS attached much importance to WASH and said it was based on that, that the Faculty with the support of Desert Research Institute of the United States designed WASH programmes.

He said plans were far advanced to open a third faculty that would focus mainly on running courses particularly in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

Dr Edward Salifu Mahama, the Director of Inter-disciplinary Research and Consultancy Service of the UDS stated that a memorandum of understanding had been signed between the University and Desert Research Institute to undertake a number of activities including capacity building and developing appropriate WASH technology.