The Central Regional Chief Manager of the Ghana Water Company, Seth Eric Atiapah says the water treatment plant at Sekyere Himan is only producing at half capacity due to illegal mining activities on the Prah River.
Speaking at the sidelines of the 2-day tour of the Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah to various water treatment plants in the Western and Central Regions, Mr Atiapah said the Sekyere Himan treatment plant which is to produce 30,000 cubic metres of water a day is only producing 15,000 due to galamsey challenges.
He said the activities have introduced a lot of silt to the catchment which gets into the sump and by getting into it, the pump is unable to abstract enough water and this finally destroys the pump.
He said, “We are doing just about half of the capacity, there is a lot of silt at the catchment area, and the silt destroys the pumps and are facing a lot of downtimes as well. This has led us to remove the silt manually and continue production.”
Mr Atiapah said they have been experiencing a lot of breakdowns at the treatment level where the plant is not able to continue with the conventional alum for tabulation leading them to use polymers which are very expensive.
“We now have to use polymers for treatment which is very expensive, this plant supplies 70% of water to Cape Coast and 30% to other surrounding communities, because of high silt we have to do frequent backwash other than that our filter media will clock which comes at high energy cost for the company.”
He said the pumps for abstraction have a lifespan of about 40 years but due to illegal mining activities, the pumps are now getting destroyed in 12 years and less.
He added, “This plant was built in 2008, by 12 years all the 3 new pumps installed collapsed as a result of high silt due to galamsey, in 2020, new pumps were installed again, and just in 2 years, one is gone again. That is why we are entreating everyone to stay away from illegal mining.”
STRABAG is the lead contractor executing the expansion project of the Daboase water treatment plant which will supply 100,000 cubic metres of water a day to the people of Sekondi-Takoradi and its environs.
The project manager for STRABAG, Ing. Vlad Falup speaking to Skyy News said the project will take 14 months and they have encountered no major challenges so far.