Ghana: Waterfall tragedy, Water Day reported in Ghana

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – A tragedy at a popular waterfall and a grim warning about a possible water crisis issued during the celebration of World Water Day were some of the stories highlighted by the Ghanaian media this week.

Ghanaians were shocked to hear that 19 people died in a tragedy at the Kintampo waterfall in the Brong Ahafo Region, central-west Ghana, when a tree fell on revellers at the tourist site on Sunday afternoon.

The state-owned Graphic reported on Monday that at least 17 people were feared dead in the accident, but the fatalities went up to 19 later.

It said several others were injured in the accident with the victims being largely students of the Wenchi Methodist Senior High School. Other victims were from the University of Energy and Natural Resources.

The Graphic, in a story with the headline, “Govt will assist Kintampo victims — Veep”, said Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia expressed shock at the tragedy which claimed 19 lives and promised government’s support for the bereaved families and those whose relatives were on admission.

He made the promise when he visited some bereaved families at Kintampo with some ministers of state and members of the national security.

The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Ms Catherine Afeku, said that there would be safety audits at all tourist sites with the view to update standards.

The state-owned Ghanaian Times reported that the tourist site had been closed down indefinitely for thorough security and safety checks.

It said the decision was taken by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Creative Arts in consultation with the Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council (REGSEC).

The Graphic, in another story under the headline, “Kintampo Waterfall tragedy was a disaster in waiting”, reported that the tragedy had brought to the fore how a beautiful tourist facility had been left to rot over the years.

It said that the nation had been sitting on a time bomb all these years as tourists patronised the waterfall oblivious of the danger it posed to their lives.

The Graphic reported in a story under the headline, “Ghana faces water crisis within 20 years” that as Ghana joined the international community to mark World Water Day, the state-owned Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and its stakeholders warned of a possible scarcity of potable water nationwide in the near future if the pollution of water bodies was not addressed

Painting a picture of a possible bleak future, the GWCL explained that although all the treatment plants in Ghana drew raw water from the various water bodies, the spate of water pollution was approaching alarming levels.

According to the company, currently some of the water bodies had been polluted beyond treatment and the GWCL feared that soon Ghana would not be able to produce drinking water.

It attributed the development to human activities such as illegal mining and improper agricultural activities along water bodies.

Other contributory factors, it said, were pollution caused by crude oil dumping, the discharge of untreated urban domestic waste and contamination of other industrial processes.

Currently, the country has achieved 77 per cent potable water coverage, but it has been warned that soon many more people will lose access to potable water.

The Head of Communications of the GWCL, Mr Stanley Martey, said the recent water shortages in some parts of the country and the attendant stress due to the long spell of dryness across the country should be a wake-up call to all stakeholders.
-0- PANA MA/VAO 25March2017

25 march 2017 06:36:09

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