Written By: Nissi Charis Asante Wiafe
Pollution of water bodies has become a common problem in many parts of the world. Kpong, a small community in the Eastern Region of Ghana, is no exception. The community has been dealing with the issue of waste disposal for a long time. The situation is so terrible that the water, which is the main source of livelihood for the inhabitants, has become highly polluted. This article aims to throw light on the effects of pollution on the Kpong head pond, the socioeconomic, political, and health challenges it poses, and the possible solutions to address the problem.
Kpong is a small community with a population of about 28,565 people (Ghana Statistical Service, 2021). The community is made up of the harbor area, the Ayikpalah, Ahodzo, and Zongo suburbs, among others. The inhabitants of this community are mainly fishermen and farmers who rely heavily on the water body for their livelihood. The Kpong HeadPond is a water body that provides hydroelectric power for the country. The presence of pollutants in the water body affects the generation of hydroelectric power, which is a political issue. The pollution of the water body has resulted in the growth of aquatic weeds, which interfere with the blades of the turbans, thereby affecting power generation (VRA Environment Department, 2023). This has led to a reduction in power supply and power outages, which negatively impact businesses, reduce government income, cause political unrest, and erode confidence in the government.
The Main Dumping Site
Photo By// Nissi Charis Asante Wiafe
The problem of waste disposal in Kpong has been ongoing for a long time, but it has worsened in recent times. The dumping site is close to a big gutter that serves as an outlet into the Volta River. This situation becomes worse during the rainy season when the rain drives the refuse through the gutter and sometimes over the gutter into the water body.
The pollution of the Kpong head pond poses a lot of challenges in terms of socio-economics, politics, and health concerns. The presence of pollutants in the water body affects the generation of hydroelectric power, which negatively impacts businesses, reduces government income, causes political unrest, and erodes confidence in the government. Health challenges are not left out. The presence of pollutants and stagnant water at the dumping site and the Volta River has given rise to diseases like malaria, bilharzia, typhoid fever, and other water-borne diseases (Ghana Health Service, 2023). The pollution of the water body also affects the livelihoods of the fishermen and farmers, who depend heavily on it.
The gutter by the dumping site and outlet to the river
Photos By// Nissi Charis Asante Wiafe
There are several solutions to the problem of waste disposal in Kpong. First, there should be frequent sensitization and education on the effects of indiscriminate waste disposal. The importance of waste segregation should be encouraged, and waste bins should be placed at short distances to make it easy for villagers to use them. Homeowners should be encouraged to construct toilet facilities in their buildings. The government should also prioritize building more public toilets for the villagers. Additionally, there should be enough serviced lights in the community, especially at the dumping site, to deter people from indiscriminate disposal, especially at night.
In conclusion, the pollution of the Kpong head pond poses a significant challenge to the inhabitants of the community. It affects their health, livelihood, and socio-economic and political life. It is essential to address this issue by implementing the solutions mentioned above. It is also necessary to raise awareness among the people on the importance of proper waste disposal and the impact of pollution on the environment and human health. Together, we can make our world clean and safe for everyone to live and thrive.