- Ghana’s Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing Albert Abongo has urged Ghana and Burkina Faso to lay out clear strategies on the utilisation of the Volta River, saying the river is critical for socio-economic development.
He said the current population growth in Burkina Faso estimated at 3.5 percent and with Ghana at 2.3 percent, Burkina Faso would bypass Ghana by 2030, putting a strain on valuable water resources.
“This obviously would mean more water utilisation in Burkina Faso that could affect downstream flows into Ghana and impact on Hydro power generation and agriculture,” Minister Abongo told local reporters.
He said despite the country having ample water sources stemming from the Volta river, lakes and other ground water sources, the country faced tremendous challenges in ensuring its equitable provision and distribution to all citizens.
Mr Abongo said the available quantity of fresh water was under severe attack from inimical human activities and practices on the environment. "Compounding the situation is the phenomenon of climate change which has been blamed on severe distortions in weather patterns, affecting agriculture and threatening food security world-wide,” he said.
Mr Abongo said the effects of climate change through droughts and floods had impacted negatively on Ghana's hydro-power generation, water supply and irrigation dams countrywide.
He said climate change has also negatively affected Ghana’s production as most industries relied on hydro power for production, resulting to poor production in the industries thereby reducing Ghana's chances of competitiveness on the global market.
The Ghanaian minister also said the problem of increasing population, rapid urbanisation, uncontrolled developments, springing up of slums, increased development of solid and liquid waste devoid of adequate disposal mechanisms were negative factors that threatened the nation's water resources.
Ghana has prioritised water security in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets to be reached by 2015.
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