Report by: Ishmael Barfi
As the world prepares to celebrate World Water Day on Tuesday, 22nd March, 2022, Ghana WASH Journalists Network (GWJN) has visited some water bodies to ascertain the state of these water bodies as well as the accessibility of water in local communities.
This year’s World Water Day is under the theme: “Ground water; making the invisible visible.”
World Water Day is an annual United Nations (UN) observance day held on 22 March to highlight the need for sustainable management of water bodies and equitable provision of safe and affordable water for all.
The field visit took the team to TOMEFA, a community situated close to the Densu river in the Ngleshie Amanfrom Municipality in the Greater Accra Region.
The field visit by GWJN was a collaboration with the Roddenberry 1 Global Fund.
Interacting with the team, Placid Tetteh Dotse, Chief of the community, explained that, accessibility of pipe-borne water is one of their main challenges in the township.
The Chief further indicated that, the community, with a population of about 1000 located on the banks of River Densu had been without pipe-borne water for the past forty-two (42) years.
Therefore the community depends on raw water from the river for their cooking, bathing as well as washing.
“But we use sachet water as drinking water which costs us a lot,” Dotse said.
In the absence of sachet water, Mr. Dotse said, some homes do treat the river water for drinking.
“We do experience itching on our bodies when ever we bath with the river water. The itches result in rashes,” he added.
Though an attempt had been made to drill bore-holes in the community, the project was abandoned due to the salty nature if the underground water in the community.
MAndrews Tetteh-Kietey, another member of the community, who also spoke to the team said the use of water from the river had serious health implications for the locals.
He urged the government and other stakeholders to come to their aid.
He said the provision of pipe-borne would promote healthy living as well as ease the stress on the women and children who usually go out in search of water.
“For my household, we use two bags of sachet water in a day as our drinking water and this is insufficient but the means to purchase more is a challenge,” he lamented.
On her part, Cynthia Gbolofor, a fish monger in the community insisted that, the use of the river water posed serious health threats to women and children especially.
She explained that children spend most of their time in the early hours of the day in search of water and get to school late and tired.
This, she said affects the academic progress of the children.
She said the greeny-coloured water from the river was polluted with refuse and was not healthy, but the people had no choice than to depend in it for their daily water needs
She therefore appealed to the government to come to their aid saying, “We will be happy if government provides us with potable water.”
Taking a view of the surroundings at the banks of the river Densu, one would see plastic bottles and sachets, and other refuse along the banks.