The Water Resources Commission (WRC) is formulating a policy document on how buffer zones are to be created, protected and maintained on Ghana’s water bodies.
The policy, known as the Buffer Zone Policy, was made known by Mrs Adwoa Munkua Darko, Public Relations Officer of the WRC, during an awareness creation workshop organized by the WRC on [20 May 2010] at Wa.
The forum was attended by District Water and Sanitation Teams (DWSTs), Assembly Members, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), media practitioners, traditional and opinion leaders as well as other identified major water users.
She said the Commission had already embarked on several public consultation forums on the enactment of a Legislative Instrument to give the policy its legal barking.
“Drilling License and Groundwater Development Regulations that will take care of the licensing of drilling companies towards ensuring safe and optimum development of Ghana’s ground water resources is also being implemented,” she said.
Mrs Darko said under these policies, all drilling companies would be licensed and their activities monitored through a requirement that they notify the WRC before drilling wells or boreholes.
She mentioned water pollution, water shortage, flooding, water weeds, land use activities, inadequate availability of reliable data as well as the lack of comprehensive institutional and legal framework as some of the water problems in Ghana.
On what was needed to be done to protect the country’s water resources, Mrs Darko said there was the need to enact new bye laws and enforce existing ones as well as avoid all forms of development in water ways.
She said WRC had adopted the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) as its main management concept and its activities include the allocation of water use permits, undertaking surface and groundwater assessment, water quality monitoring as well as public awareness and education.
Mrs Darko expressed concern about the negative water management culture on the part of the public and called on the participants, especially the media to help educate the people to desist from all activities capable of polluting water bodies.
Read the Final Draft Buffer Zone Policy for managing river basins in Ghana (WRC, Aug 2008)
Source: GNA / Myjoyonline.com, 21 May 2010