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Ghana Water Project to Ensure Clean Water for Accra

Ghana is planning a project to develop and manage its river basins. The goal is to improve the delivery of water services to consumers. The pilot project will focus on the Densu River, which serves as one of the main sources of water to the capital, Accra. The management plan will involve policy makers, planners and users. Ronald Abrahams is in charge of the Densu River basin at Ghana's Water Resources Commission. He told Voice of America English to Africa Service reporter Joana Mantey about the project and the river basin, which is said to be facing land and water degradation.

He said, "People dump their waste within the river channel area, and when it rains [the waste finds its] way into the water system." Some fishermen are also reported to be using dead animals as bait for fishing. Abrahams said often this is a result of ignorance: "We need to intensify our [public] awareness program to change attitudes for the better." He said the government will also build a water treatment plant at Weija, outside of Accra.

The police are also checking illegal quarries that remove the topsoil and destroy the land of the river basin. "We are working with the (Ga West) District Assembly to find alternate means of livelihood for the people and we hope this will solve the problem."

Abrahams said the management plan for the basin will help prevent pollution and land degradation. The plan creates a buffer zone to protect existing trees. New ones will be planted within the basin to help it withstand floods. He said they hope to use the buffer zone to remove farmers who use chemicals, in order to reduce pollution in the basin. The district is working out a plan to relocate the farmers.

Lawmakers are also consolidating existing fragmented legislation on Ghana's river basins and increasing public awareness programs.