Scientist urges government to institute wastewater management law

By:Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, April 6, GNA – Mr Samuel Obiri, Senior Scientist, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research-Water Research Institute has urged government to institute a framework to ensure effective use of wastewater in the country.

He said wastewater needed to be recognised in the water cycle since it was the greatest untapped opportunities to enhance sustainable development.

Mr Obiri said this in Accra in an interview with members of the Water and Sanitation Network of Journalist as part of activities to mark this year’s national celebration of World Water Day on the theme ‘Water and Wastewater’.

He said the country needed a policy direction to psyche the minds of Ghanaians to understand the importance of treating wastewater for its reuse since other countries like Singapore and Canada had done same.

Mr Obiri enumerated issues such as ineffective policies, weak regulations and laws, corruption and lack of appropriate infrastructure and lack of investment in human capacity building as factors that hindered the effectiveness of wastewater management.

He noted that it was imperative for government to allocate enough money to the sector and the willingness for the citizenry to pay taxes to invest in infrastructure for the water sector development.

Mr Obiri urged government to develop innovative ways of streamlining the water industry from activities of pollution such as illegal mining that affected the country’s water bodies.

This he explained could be possible when there was effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism in place to ensure transparency and accountability in the system.

He said the country need to consider wastewater as a resource because of a global climate change which caused disruptions in the world’s natural hydrological cycles, thereby having effects on water quality and supply.

Mr Obiri said increased acceptance and reliance on reclaimed water would play a key role in mitigating the impacts of global climate change.

‘Wastewater can act as a source of drinking water if treated well even though there were some health risk from associated pathogens and other contaminants from chemicals’, he added

According to UN Water, the waste water from the homes, cities and industries, which could be reused was lost.

Some of the most important measures to practise water conservation in aroundd areas include re-use of effluent from industries, artificial aquifer recharge and the utilisation of sand storage dams to reduce evaporation.



Water Resources Commission Advocates Reuse Of Treated Waste Water

By: Abubakari Seidu Ajarfor

The Water Resources Commission is advocating for the reuse of treated wastewater that are mostly generated from companies and household activities into safe water for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes.

Speaking at a news conference in Accra on the effects of wastewater disposal on aquatic biodiversity, Adwoa Darko, Chairperson of the Planning Committee of the World Water Day said it is about time focused is directed at reducing the pressure mounted on fresh water.

Marking this year’s World Water Day on the theme, “Water and Wastewater,” she noted that fresh water can be conserved to reduce pressure while wastewater can be regenerated and treated for other beneficial use.

“It will help in solving our waste management problems and reduce the incidence of cholera and other water borne diseases if we are able to harness these waters that we deemed waste,” she intimated.

Mrs. Darko posited that Government commitment in establishing a sole ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources is a demonstration of its resolve to support this effort holistically.

“I am also seeing that there is going to be a policy direction in that regard for us to look at wastewater as a resource that can be generated and treated for reused for every home and company in the country,” she stated.

Obiri Samuel, Senior Research Scientist, CSIR-Water Research Institute indicated that it is important that we take a second look at the wastewater we generate and how best we can treat it to reduce it effect on the natural environment.

He noted that water stressed countries such as Singapore and the rest have adopted this approach towards solving their acute water problems by reusing their wastewater.

“We need to first of all start looking at the right policy frameworks that will operationalize this system to allow people and companies to invest in technologies that will support the new approach in the country,” he stated.

Mr. Samuel emphasized that the system, when implemented will help the hospitality industry, households and companies which uses enough water to regenerate it for flashing of their water closets whiles preserving and conserving the fresh water for other purposes to cut down bills on water supply.

According to him, the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global scientific body that was set up to advice the United Nations on matter relating to climate change has made recommendations.

He added that their recent assessment shows that 12 countries in West Africa will be limited to 1000 meter cube of water by the year 2020 and Ghana is not an exemption.