By Christopher Tetteh
Sunyani, Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Traditional Authorities and opinion leaders in Sunyani have expressed discomfort about the increasing indiscriminate buildings put up to block waterways and streams in the Municipality.
The three groups – the Sunyani Traditional Council (STC), Sunyani Youth Development Association (SYDA) and the Platform for Stakeholders in Sunyani expressed divers concerns, saying, building to block water bodies, streams and rivers could cause water extinction in Sunyani.
They were addressing a joint press conference dubbed “Save Streams and Water Bodies in Sunyani for Sustainability, Water Is Live” after an inspection tour to numerous sources of streams in the area.
It was gathered that many houses, church buildings, some private schools, hotels and structures had been built in unauthorised places, particularly, on waterways and the courses of rivers and streams in Sunyani.
It was also noted that households around streams such as the Sunyani stream, Nana Bonsu, Kanesua, Agozo, Akokra Kwadjo and many others were dumping refuse and other waste materials into the streams and polluting them.
It is ‘dangerous and environmental crime’, an ‘eye-saw’ situation to not that occupants of some houses have deliberately channeled their sewage into the streams.
It’s impacts are threat to health and livelihoods of the masses as well as the ecosystems surrounding Sunyani.
Mr. Atta Akoto Senior, President of SYDA said the streams and water bodies in Sunyani directly connect the Tano River which serves as the main source of water supply to the entire Municipality.
“The streams were tributes of the Tano River, therefore, dumping waste inbthem consequently affects the River body which is the main reliable sources of potable water for the Ghana Water Company Limited in Sunyani”, Mr. Akoto stated.
He said most vegetable farmers engaged in lettuce, cabbage, garden eggs, carrot, green pepper, ‘ayoyo’ and cucumber production fetched water from most of those rivers and streams to water their crops and this could lead to food poisoning.
He therefore called on the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Town and Country Planning Department and the Environmental health and Sanitation department of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly to be proactive to immediately stop the unpatriotic and destructive activities of such estate developers who have been polluting the streams and rivers.
Nana Kwame Addai Kuntuma IV, the Nifahene of Sunyani Traditional Area emphasized the sharp rising of indiscriminate building in the marshy areas could create disastrous situations if immediate steps were not taken.
He called on authorities, particularly the building inspectorate unit, NADMO, Water and Sanitation department and the Water Resources Commission to be up in doing, because “it is unlawful to construct structures to block waterways,”.
This uncontrollable lawlessness acts is becoming a canker in the Municipality must be stopped before the unexpected sad situation happens during the rainy season, he stated.
Nana Akua Dadzawa Agozo, the Queen mother of Agozokrom, an area well known in Sunyani as Nkwabeng noted the streams ones served the Municipality for decades and still serving.
Hence, the STC would immediately pick up the matter and enforce legislations and necessary sanctions because human activities were not permitted within 50 metres to river banks according to government regulations.
When contact, Mr. Daniel Owusu Korkor, Municipal Environmental Health Analyst denied knowledge of the situations.