The Water Resources Commission (WRC) has indicated that the catchment area of the Barekese Dam in Kumasi will be declared a security zone.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the WRC, Nana (Prof.) Agyewodin Adu Gyamfi Ampem, at a news conference in Kumasi last Wednesday.
He said even though the catchment area of the dam had been reafforested as a means of preventing it from the activities of encroachers, there was still the need for further protective measures.
Nana Ampem said similar interventions introduced in the catchment area of the Weija Dam in Accra in August last year had yielded positive results.
He, therefore, hoped that declaring the Barekese Dam and its environs a security zone would be a lasting solution to encroachment.
He, however, indicated that the WRC would first discuss with other stakeholders, including chiefs and opinion leaders, the proposal to involve security operatives in protecting the dam to ensure its successful implementation.
He urged districts that shared in the dam’s resources, particularly Atwima Nwabiagya and Afigya Kwabre, to join efforts at ensuring that the pollution of the Barekese River as a result of illegal mining activities was reduced to the barest minimum.
“We are confronted with a serious situation because of the activities of illegal mining in the catchment area of the Barekese Dam. The situation at the moment requires urgent, decisive, practical and collaborative actions to turn the dam’s fortunes around,” Nana Ampem indicated.
He was concerned that if immediate measures were not taken to prevent the activities of encroachers on the water body, closure of the dam’s water intake facilities would become a constant feature that could lead to a major public health hazard.
According to him, the current condition of water in the dam required large amounts of chemicals to treat.