An acute water shortage has hit the Sunyani Municipality, compelling residents to criss-cross the municipality in search of water. The situation has been compounded by the reduction of the daily production and distribution of water from 1.6 million gallons per day to 800,000 gallons by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL). The Sunyani Municipality, parts of the Sunyani West and the Tano North districts depend on the Abesim Water Headworks which treats water from the Tano River. Averagely, the Abesim Headworks’ production is 1.6 million gallons of water per day for distribution, which falls far below its daily demand of seven million gallons. The water treatment plant which was established in 1963 to serve thousands of people in the Sunyani area, is still serving the population which has increased tremendously. Ghana Water Company Limited The Brong Ahafo Regional Chief Manager of the GWCL, Engineer Charles Brobbey, told the Daily Graphic that the source of water, the Tano River, had almost dried up, compelling the Abesim Water Treatment Plant to reduce its production by half. “The flow of the river has been slowed down by the dry season and other competitive uses of the upstream water for various economic purposes,” he stated; attributing it partly to illegal mining in the area. Ing. Brobbey explained that the reduction in treated water would impact on the entire Sunyani municipality and its environs, where all areas supplied by the plant would experience an acute shortage of water. Boreholes He said besides the rationing regime, the company had taken measures to reactivate seven boreholes scattered across the municipality to provide alternative source of water to residents of the area. “We want to do this before the river ceases flowing because where we are heading towards, it will come to a time when the river will definitely cease flowing and we think that at that time, we should have an alternative source of water in the municipality. If we should have the rains coming early enough, then we will be very lucky, since the situation is very serious now. In fact, we all have to pray,” he said. According to him, should the situation degenerate, the company would have no option but to use water tankers to supply water from Berekum and beyond to essential institutions and residents in the municipality. In the medium term, the company is planning to drill more boreholes across the municipality to alleviate the problem while in the long term, funds are being sourced for a water expansion project that can solve the problem once and for all. Residents Some residents who spoke to the Daily Graphic expressed their frustrations at the development. “I had to get up as early as 3:30 a.m. today in order to get water for my household chores,” a resident of Abesim said. At Area One in Sunyani, some residents lined up with yellow gallons to buy water. The cost of water which ranges from 20 pesewas to 30 pesewas depending on the size of the gallon has, however, not changed, in spite of the water crisis.
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