Pacific Institute Insights

Notes from the Field: Safe Guarding Water Quality – A Concern for All

by Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Associate
June 26, 2010

Ghana polluted water

At Lamsheigu, a Surburb of Tamale, Ghana, and about 30 km south of Savelugu, there is a surface dam which is being used by people for domestic purposes. Close to the dam is a vehicle washing bay, for the purpose of easy access to water. This dam is polluted from oils and dirt from the surrounding and vehicles that are washed.

Though it was mentioned that the water is used for bathing and cooking, there is not any form of household-level treatment before use according to some women I spoke to. The photo above shows the dirty water in the dam, and the photo below, some water being fetched for domestic consumption. When asked if they had knowledge of any water-related diseases, the answer was “yes,” but no one could give reasons for not treating the water before use. The people might boil the water to kill bacteria but what happens to the film of oily layers on the water is question for which no one has sought the answers.

Ghana domestic water

The vehicle washing bay owner might be earning daily income from his job but little does he think of the harm being caused to the only precious dam that serves a large population at Lamashiegu. It is therefore very important for education to be given to all people staying close to the dam to know the contribution of their actions to polluting the dam.

 

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