The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Yakubu, has urged the Water Resource Commission (WRC) to educate the public to desist from activities that cause water siltation in the region.
He emphasised the need to discourage farmers from farming around river bodies because it causes the pollution of the water bodies.
He bemoaned the situation where surface and groundwater are polluted due to farming activities on the river banks, discharging of faecal matter, and mining activities among others.
Mr Yakubu said as an agency that is responsible for the regulation, management and utilisation of water bodies, the WRC should regularly engage the public to desist from such bad practices as open defecation and discharging of waste materials into dams and other water bodies.
The Minister said this at Bongo during a knowledge-based capacity-building workshop for the Bongo Traditional Council, which was organised by the management of the Blue Deal Project, a body responsible for the White Volta Basin in Ghana and Burkina Faso.
He urged the WRC to engage the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to adopt the “Water Police” concept as practised in Burkina Faso.
In his view, this would help protect the buffer zone areas against activities that often lead to the pollution of the water bodies.
He commended the Dutch Water Authorities for its support of the Blue Deal as an integrated water resources management approach to resolving some water challenges in the Bongo Area.
The Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Bonaba Baba Salifu Atamale Lemyaarum, appealed to Divisional Chiefs in the area to be passionate about environmental protection.
He urged them to adopt innovative ways of protecting the environment, suggesting enskinning “Environmental Chief” to be solely responsible for the environment.
He also asked the state to empower the traditional authorities with legislation to enable them to deal with recalcitrant whose activities lead to the destruction of the environment.
Bala Ali, ISD