The Water Resources Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Water Company Limited, Veolia Ghana Limited, Rural Relief Services, the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, the Obuasi East District Assembly, the Ghana Education Service Directorates in Obuasi Municipal and Obuasi East District Assembly launched an educational campaign on the importance of groundwater on World Water Day, under the theme “Groundwater, Making the Invisible Visible.” The event was sponsored by AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine.
As part of the World Water Day activities, issues such as water scarcity, an open-defecation-free society, the impact of illegal mining (Galamsey) activities, spillage of oils and chemicals, agrochemicals, and indiscriminate land use patterns on groundwater and climate change were addressed.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Nixon Asante, the Senior Manager of Environment at AngloGold Ashanti, stressed the need to “actively sensitize, mobilize, and educate our youth and communities on the importance of groundwater, which is a crucial water resource that has been underappreciated in sustainable development.”
He reaffirmed AngloGold Ashanti’s commitment to managing water responsibly worldwide, avoiding negative impacts on local and regional water resources.
Mr. Asante also mentioned the Climate Resilient Oil Palm Project (CROPP), which the Obuasi Mine launched in 2021 in collaboration with Solidaridad West Africa to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation through local economic development. He went on to explain that the project will enhance the livelihoods of beneficiaries in the four Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (Obuasi Municipal, Obuasi East District, Amansie Central and Adansi South Districts) in Adansi and Amansie.
“The “CROPP” project is also part of the Obuasi Mine’s Agricultural Development programme which aims to contribute to the diversification of the local economy and afforestation.” He added.
The Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Elijah Adansi Bonnah lauded all stakeholders for coming together for such a worthy cause. He used the occasion to reiterate government’s commitment to deal with illegal mining. He also urged traditional leaders to promote and uphold cultural values that go a long way to support the conservation and preservation of groundwater.
According to Mrs. Abena Dufie Wiredu Bremang, Principal Officer and Head of Pra Basin Water Resources Commissions, the theme, Groundwater – Making the invisible visible, speaks to the need to provide the necessary technical knowledge to locate, abstract, treat and protect groundwater for future generations.
“It is critical to raise public awareness and educate the people on the cost and time implications of figuring out what went wrong and developing potential solutions once human activities threaten a resource. It’s high time we developed elaborate systems for the safe abstraction of groundwater without disrupting the ecosystem.”
Mrs. Abena Dufie Wiredu Bremang believes that the time to act is now, especially given the implications of climate change. She encouraged the Ghana Water Company Limited to step-up efforts to tap the hidden resource safely and sustainably, ensuring that Ghanaians will have access to potable water.
On his part, Mr. Joseph Amoako-Principal Programme Officer-EPA expressed his appreciation to all stakeholders for participating and contributing towards this year’s commemoration of World Water Day. He hoped that there will be further collaboration among the parties on other environmental and climate change interventions in future. “We anticipate that this year’s event will go a long way towards improving safe water provision in Obuasi and its environs.”
In his remarks, Mr. Laurent Piat, Managing Director of Veolia Ghana Limited, pledged its ongoing efforts to improve access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them. “We are here to contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries by providing, promoting, and maintaining water and wastewater facilities, solid and liquid waste treatment plant, and energy services. Thank you all for your collaboration.”
The Paramount Queen Mother of Adansi, Nana Amoanimaa Dede II, added her voice to the plea to protect groundwater by using water wisely and learning to recycle paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, and other materials. She urged individuals and community members to be mindful of their actions and their impact on groundwater and the overall wellbeing of humanity.
Present at the durbar were the Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Elijah Adansi-Bonah, Paramount Queen Mother of Adansi, Nana Amoanimaa Dede II and the Assembly members from both Obuasi Municipal and Obuasi East District Assemblies.