Access to potable water for domestic and commercial purposes which is already poor is set to worsen in the coming months and years.
This according to a geographer and the Chief Executive Officer of the Development Geo-Information Service (DeGEOSERV), Professor Emmanuel Amamoo-Otchere is because of the changing patterns in the weather conditions and land use.
He therefore admonished Ghanaians to brace themselves for an imminent water crisis.
He was commenting on a possible drought which expert say could affect the country if it does not rain in the coming days.
A number of river bodies in the country have dried up due to the effects of pollution and illegal mining activities.
Currently, residents of Nsawam in the Eastern Region and its surrounding areas risk contracting cholera and other communicable diseases following the the lack of access to clean water.
Citi News gathers that residents of the area are forced to share water from the Densu tributary with animals.
Meanwhile, speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, Prof. Amamoo-Otchere said the situation was not surprising because “it’s been going on for some time now and gradually it’s going to get worse” if nothing is about it.
He professed that “our own land use pattern has been such that the riparian corridor [the waterways and the vegetation around it] has constantly come under the type of land use we call slash and then the bush fallow, shifting cultivation, flop plain cultivation of sugar cane…so the protective vegetation is gone which means, the pro-transpiration is high especially when we come to the dry season where the radiation of the sun is very intense.”
“Formerly what will remain in the soil as soil moisture is reducing also because of over harvesting through borehole and so on, so the water bodies are constantly under attack. And now that we are going into a period where rainfall is not going to be constant it will mean that whatever that comes from time to time returns into the atmosphere and very little is left by way of balancing the soil…so if that is the case it is not surprising that we have the drought,” the geographer explained.
Drying up of River Densu
On why River Densu is drying up, the geographer among other things attributed it to the increasing population in the area as well as the erection structures on waterways.
“You and I somethings will want to building on the water ways not knowing that it is impeding the streams… and these are very common in Ghana.”
Way forward: Harvesting water
He admonished Ghanaians to harvest water which he said is the best alternative for now “so that when it comes to the extreme of drought we can use that.”