Stop indiscriminate construction on waterways - Group

Sunyani, March 3, GNA - Three groups in the Sunyani Municipality have raised concerns about constructions on waterways and streams in some parts of the town.

The groups, consisting of the Sunyani Traditional Council (STC), Sunyani Youth Development Association (SYDA) and the Platform for Stakeholders in Sunyani, at a press conference, said buildings were blocking water bodies, streams and rivers in the area.

The press conference on the theme: "Save Streams and Water Bodies in Sunyani for Sustainability, Water Is Live," became possible after inspection of river bodies and streams in the Municipality.

The group said some houses, church buildings, private schools, hotels and other structures were constructed in unauthorized places, particularly, on waterways and the courses of rivers and streams in Sunyani.

Mr Atta Akoto Senior, President of SYDA, stated that occupants of some of the houses around streams namely ‘Sunyani’ Nana Bonsu, Kanesua, Agozo, Akokra Kwadjo in the Municipality, were polluting the streams by dumping refuse and other waste materials.

He said some houses were also deliberately channelling their sewage into the streams.

Mr Akoto Senior stated that such activities were a threat to society due to their negative impacts on the health and livelihood of the public and ecosystems in the affected areas.

He emphasized that all streams and water bodies in Sunyani directly connect to the Tano River, which serves as the main source of water supply to the entire people in the Municipality.

Dumping of refuse and faeces into the streams consequently affects the River body, which is the main reliable sources of potable water, for the Ghana Water Company Limited in Sunyani, he said.

He said the polluted streams were also used by most vegetable farmers in the municipality, which could lead to food poisoning.

Mr Akoto, 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 water bodies and also acquire building permit.

Nana Kwame Addai Kuntuma IV, Nifahene of Sunyani Traditional Area, said the situation could be disastrous if immediate steps were not taken and called on authorities concern in the municipality because it was unlawful to construct concrete slabs to block waterways.

Such lawlessness acts could create problems during the rainy season, he said.
Nana Akua Dadzawa Agozo, Queen mother of Agozokrom, in Sunyani stated that Sunyani Traditional Council would take action on the matter and enforce legislation for necessary sanctions since human activities were not permitted within 50 metres to riverbanks by regulations.

When the Ghana News Agency (GNA) contacted Mr Daniel Owusu Korkor, the Municipal Environmental Health Analyst, he denied any knowledge of the situation.