The chiefs of Owabi and Odaso in the Ashanti Region have been summoned by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to explain the pollution of the Oda and Owabi Rivers by illegal mining and real estate activities.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who was visibly unhappy about the development, could not fathom why the chiefs in these two catchment areas would allow the pollution of these water bodies, which provide safe drinking water for an appreciable number of people in the region.
The Asantehene gave the order when the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, and her deputy Minister-designate, Alhaji Amidu Chinnia, visited to pay a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, and also furnished Otumfuo with a report of threat of galamsey and real estate activities to the Oda and Owabi Rivers.
While expressing gratitude to the Asantehene for the warm reception, the minister used the opportunity to officially introduce her deputy minister-designate, and the managing directors (MDs) of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Water Resources Commission (WRC), and Community Water and Sanitation (CWS), who accompanied her to the palace to Otumfuo.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, therefore, charged the government to speed up dredging works, especially in the Owabi River, to help protect the river from further siltation.
An earlier inspection tour by the minister at the Owabi Dam revealed that the river which original depth was 22.5 feet was now at just 6 feet due to loads of silt.
The minister’s visit to Manhyia Palace formed part of her four-day working tour in the Eastern and Ashanti Regions to inspect water bodies and the state of GWCL water treatment facilities.
Addressing journalists later, Mrs Dapaah, commended Otumfuo for his continuous efforts in protecting the Barekese River.
However, she described as quite disquieting the serious galamsey activities ongoing just twenty (20) metres away from the River Oda in the Odaso community.
“This is not good for the Oda River. In fact, the galamseyers have muddied the Oda River with their operations which continue to put a lot of strain on the water treatment plant close to the river. And this practice must cease,” she stressed.
She, therefore, advised Ghanaians to go back to the traditions and norms that protected water bodies in the communities.
“It is also important that we all support President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on his declared war on galamsey,” she urged.
Mrs. Dapaah is being accompanied on her tour by the MD of GWCL, Ing. Dr. Clifford Braimah, the Executive Director of WRC, Mr. Ben Yaw Ampomah, the Chief Director of MSWR, Mr. Noah Tumfo, the Public Relations of GWCL, Mr Stanley Martey and the head of CWS.