Visit to water treatment plant
On Thursday February 9, 2017 an educational field trip to Water Treatment Plant in Kibi was organized for students as part of activities to commemorate the world wetlands day celebration. 50 Junior High School Students from Kibi Presby JHS and Kibi State JHS, all members of the A Rocha Ghana’s Environmental Schools Club spent the morning learning about the process of water filtration in their community.
The students were given a full tour of the drinking water abstraction point at the Birim River basin and learned of the challenges posed by illegal mining and other forms of community pollution. The students were guided through the full water treatment process from the abstraction stage to coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, and finally, filtration and chlorination stages.
Cost of Raw Water Treatment
The process of raw water abstraction has been the most challenging stage of water treatment for the plant in recent past. The sediment in the Birim basin has accumulated and constricted the flow of water, largely due to the ground disturbances caused by illegal mining. The felling of trees and cutting of bushes along the riverbank by the community has also led to riverbank erosion and an additional accumulation of sediment.
The technicians at the treatment plant expressed that they are only able to treat half of the water they abstract to the center for drinking. In addition to this water deficit, comes some financial struggles. The company now is required to use triple the amount of expensive chemicals for water treatment due to illegal mining. This has resulted in the high cost of raw water purification for consumption and the social consequences are equally as strenuous for the nearby communities.
Students after the tour appreciated the vast problems posed by illegal mining and other community activities on the availability of drinking water supply. Not only did they comprehend the harmful nature of the chemicals added to the water by the illegal miners, but also the change in the river landscape caused by mining and tree felling.