20 June 2003

Ghana: Government Urged to Create Water Ministry

THE PRESIDENT of Friends Of River and Water Bodies, Nana Dwomuh Sarpong has urged the government to create water ministry in the country.

He said the Works and Housing ministry has failed for the past years in terms of tackling water problems.

According to him, about 70 per cent of water is used by man, as well as other living things on earth, thus making it essential to life.

He asserted that the other ministries would not have existed if there was no water in the country because most of them rely on water for their projects.

During an interview with the Chronicle, just after the launch of International Fresh Water Day, Nana Sarpong said rainwater should be preserved for drinking, instead of being allowed to flood and go waste.

He advised that houses should create a provision for storing rainwater.

He said the Friends of River and Water Bodies would ensure that the laws governing water are enforced to protect water bodies in the country.

According to him, "Act 4C of land policy says a minimum of 100m of high water should be declared as protected area."

He therefore called on women to fight against the misuse of water, adding "they suffer most when water is not available."

When asked whether there is the need to privatize water, he answered that government should not talk of privatization, if water cannot be treated well.

Nana Sarpong contended that when water sector is privatised, water would be sold at such an expensive rate that people cannot afford to buy.

He called on the government to concentrate on the water sector since it is vital in national development.

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