The Asutifi North District Assembly in collaboration with Aquaya Institute under the District Level Learning Alliance Platform (DLLAP) on Wednesday, August 3 held a meeting with stakeholders of the Assembly to share experiences and lessons from their chlorination piloting activities.
The piloting which took place from October 2021 to February 2022 aimed at improving chlorination at two-piped systems, boreholes, and standpipes in the district to increase access to safe water for the public. The Assembly together with Aquaya Institute and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Sunyani in line with achieving the goals of ANAM WASH masterplan established a mechanism for public water systems in the district to receive quality testing services from GWCL. Results from rounds of water quality testing however indicated the presence of e.coli contamination in some piped systems.
Aquaya Institute subsequently after the testing undertook a pilot study to identify methods to purify water through chlorination for the public taking into consideration feasibility and affordability. The study examined two chlorination approaches, the water mission’s In-line chlorination, and Direct Tank dosing. https://www.anamwash.com/blog/aquaya-assesses-rural-small-piped-water-systems
District Chief Executive, Honorable Anthony Mensah in his opening statement said, “because of mining activities in the district, we tend to link all water contamination issues to the mining company which per investigations is questionable.”
He however added, “Let’s pay attention and learn the real causes of the contamination so we can accept responsibility and find lasting solutions as well as communicate correctly the problems to our people.”
BashiruYachor, Programs Officer for Aquaya Institute in his presentation, explained, “At the end of our piloting, both chlorination methods produced a huge increase in free chlorine residual within the universal acceptable limits.”
He further pleaded with Nananom and the Assembly to provide assistance for the water systems since expenditures on power and chlorination eat up their revenue. ”The systems are therefore struggling financially and it makes it hard for expansion works to be undertaken”.
Programs Officer for Aquaya Institute, Afua Gyaama Kissi Ampomah in her presentation stressed the need to expand the chlorination activities as result from the testings revealed “samples with positive Free Chlorine Residual (FCR) to have 4 times the odds of undetectable E.coli as compared to samples with no measurable FCR.”
The District Water Engineer, Obeng Opoku in response to concerns by some stakeholders about the quality of water from private operators explained private water systems are being guided to undergo testing and chlorination regularly. He however pleaded with stakeholders to also assist in ensuring such systems do the needful.
Other concerns that were addressed included tariff reviews, capacity building, management plans for water systems, modes of treating stored water in households, and fears that systems might stop chlorination activities as soon as Aquaya exits the District.
Amongst stakeholders present included Nananom, District Assembly staff, heads of departments, Assembly members, and water system managers.