The Director of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr. George Essebgey has emphasized the need for Ganaians to cultivate rainwater harvesting (RWH) as a means of tackling water crises in the country.
According to him, rainwater harvesting would also reduce the pressure Ghanaians put on the Ghana Water Company during periods of water shortage.
To this effect, the Water Research Institute (WRI) of the CSIR has appealed to Ghanaians to endeavour to cultivate the habit of harvesting rainwater as it is one of the best means of water supply when hit by its scarcity.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting on the promotion of RWH in Accra on Tuesday, Dr. Essegbey said harvesting of rain water would also enable Ghanaians to reduce the pressure they put on themselves searching for water during water crisis.
He said although many Ghanaians did not use the RWH technology, it was not a new technology as various forms of RWH installations had been found in many colonial buildings and institutions.
“RWH is also very common in rural areas as most of these areas do not have access to potable water as compared with those in urban and peri-urban areas”, he said.
Dr. Essegbey cited the severity and impacts of climate change on available water resources, pollution of water by illegal mining activities, rapid urbanisation putting pressure on water supply as some of the reasons calling for the usage of RWH technology
Research Scientist, Scientific and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) , Mr Roland Asare, cited RWH as one of the best alternative sources to the current water supply situation in the Accra.
He mentioned irrigation, washing, watering of gardens, as some of the benefits of rainwater harvesting technology.
“RWH is also free as it does not come with water bills, it is also easy to maintain, and it is also good for drinking if system is well designed and maintain”, he added.
He mentioned high initial tank installation cost as one of the major disadvantages hindering people from using the RWH technology.
He called for a closer stakeholders’ collaboration in order to send home the RWH message and make Ghanaians adopt the RWH system to address the shortfall of water supply.
Mr. Asare, said the inability of schools to raise their 25 percent contribution towards the installation of RWH technologies or machines had made it difficult for the Institute to help them with the technology.
The workshop which was under the theme “Promoting RWH as local Business: Seeking Ways to Make the Technology Attractive and Affordable for Users in Ghana” was sponsored by Sintef Norway, a scientific research institute in Norway.
Some of the stakeholders which attended the workshop were the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Water Company, LESDEP, and the University of Ghana.
Others were the University of Ghana, the Public Utility and Regulatory Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation among others.