Water shortage has hit parts of Sekondi-Takoradi, Cape Coast and adjoining communities in the Western and the Central regions, respectively, due to the low level of water at the intake points of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in the two regions.
The situation, which has been occasioned by the onset of the dry season, has reduced water production levels in the two cities, which depend on water from the River Pra and the IDA Dam at Sekyere Hemang and Baifikrom, as well as other sources.
Low intake levels
The Communications Manager of the GWCL for the Western and Central regions, Nana Yaw Barima Barnie, explained that the water intake capacity at Sekyere Hemang in the Central Region, which is 15,000 cubic metres, is currently about 5,000 cubic metres.
“The maximum operation level is 5.5 metres and a minimum of two metres; as we speak now, we are doing 2.3 metres,” he said.
At the Baifikrom intake point, the daily production of 9,000 cubic metres has been reduced to 4,700 cubic metres.
“At the Baifikrom intake, we are talking about a maximum operation level of six metres, but now we are doing less than three metres,” the manager said.
In the Western Region, the two intake points at Inchaban and Daboase combined have the capacity to produce 6.5 million gallons a day but are currently producing between two and 2.7 million gallons on the average.
“Following the onset of the dry season, with its adverse effect on water production and distribution, the company is facing challenges in the extraction of adequate quantities of raw water for treatment at the Sekyere Hemang, Baifikrom and Daboase intake areas,” Mr Barnie added.
In the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, water is being rationed, compelling residents to travel far and near for water.
According to Mr Barnie, the GWCL had made arrangements with the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to serve schools in need.
A similar situation exists in the Central Region, with the worst hit areas being Cape Coast, Mankessim, Saltpond, Elmina and adjourning communities.
Residents of hilly communities are the worst affected.
The yellow ‘Kufuor’ gallons are seen everywhere in the two regions, including various standpipes, waiting to be filled.
A food vendor in Takoradi, Ms Ama Segua, said for almost a week now water had not flowed through her taps.
"There was no announcement about the closure and this is worrying because we need water for our chores before leaving for work," she said.
A hairdresser, who gave her name only as Stella, also said business had been slow because customers had to be turned away due to the unavailability of water.