Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire Meet Over Transboundary Water Systems
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire held bilateral meeting to discuss issues bothering the transboundary water systems of the two countries. The Minister of the Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who received the delegation led by the Minister for Water and Forestry of Cote d’Ivoire, Laurent Tchagba, said Ghana was poised on strengthening ties with its neighbouring countries to protect water bodies.
According to the minister, mismanagement of water resources could also result in pollution which negatively impacts human and aquatic lives, irrigation and industry. She also mentioned that without close collaboration with Ghana’s neighbouring countries over protection of water bodies, achieving a common goal of preserving water bodies would be difficult.
She said Ghana for example, shared the Volta River with Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Togo with Ghana having 43 per cent downstream. The Tano River, she said was also a transboundary river split between Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana 7 and 93 per cent respectively, while the River Bia was about 69 per cent and 31 per cent in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire respectively.
Explaining, the minister stated that the Bia River in Cote d’Ivoire had two hydroelectric dams which supplied power to Abidjan. She, therefore, underscored the relevance of coming together to form and implement policies to further protect and preserve the various water bodies in the countries, as any negative impact on any river, irrespective of its location, had the tendency of affecting a different country.
Cecilia Dapaah (right) interacting with Mr Laurent Tchagh
Touching on the issue of sedimentation, Mrs Dapaah indicated that it could lead to low carrying capacity, resulting in flooding with its attendant loss of farms, lives and property. She expressed the hope that the bond between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire would be strengthened, as the two countries forge ahead to preserve river bodies within their jurisdictions.
Mr Tchagba on his part assured that his country was ready to cooperate with the Ghanaian government in all activities to promote proper land and water resource management between the two countries. He said to use the rivers and water bodies sustainably, “we need to protect these invaluable natural gifts from all sorts of wrong doings.” On his part, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, mentioned that river bodies in Ghana continued to be under threat due to activities of illegal small scale miners.
However, he stated that the government would not relent in efforts to ensure the illegal practice, popularly known as galamsey, became a thing of the past. “We have also waged a relentless battle against illegal mining and we will not stop until all activities destroying our lands and water bodies are brought to a permanent end,” he stressed.