Ghanaians, particularly those living in communities close to water bodies have been advised to consider revisiting or maintaining the customary practices that prevented people from polluting the country’s water bodies.
The customary laws mandate users to keep lakes and rivers pure because they are regarded as the dwelling place of the gods. In recent times, the disregard for these beliefs has led to the rampant pollution of the country’s water bodies.
But, the Water Resources Commission wants communities and traditional authorities to stick to these rules and other pollution control measures to protect the water bodies.
Speaking at the Media launch and Community Engagement for this year’s World Water Day(WWD) celebration at Ngleshie Amanfrom in the Greater Accra Region last week, Madam Adwoa Munkua Dako,Chair of WWD Planning Committee, emphasised the need for the customary rules to be revisited.
Madam Dako pointed out that maintaining customary rules and regulations on water use where possible would help in preserving the water bodies.
She stated, “for instance closure of some water bodies especially lakes and lagoons for fishing or other productive uses. The restriction on entry into certain areas e.g reservoir area may be for protecting the dam other equipment, but also has the added purpose of serving as close area for fish resources.”
She advised Local authorities to do their best to enforce the traditional values on domestic water use, adding that such responsibilities should be carried out without compromise.
“The contribution of local communities should not be in isolation. If there is proper collaboration with state management agencies, this would effectively enhance the control and management of the country’s water resources.”
The events were part of activities outlined by the Planning Committee to mark this year’snational celebration of World Water Day, on the theme: “Nature for Water.”
The campaign is meant to expose journalists to and engender media reportage on water ecosystems, conservation, preservation and related issues in the country.
The event provided the opportunity to sensitize the Ngleshie Amanfrom and those around the Weija Dam on the importance of the health of fresh water ecosystem, prevalence of water borne and water related diseases in the community as well the as role of communities in securing water quality at the ecosystem and household levels.
World Water Day was instituted by the UN in 1992 at the United Nations convention on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since 1993, the day has been celebrated by international community on the 22nd of March each year, to draw attention to the importance of water and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
By: Mohammed Suleman