The Commission as part of its mandate to manage freshwater resources in Ghana has set up the Tano Basin Board, to coordinate activities and initiate interventions for the ecological health of the Basin.
The Tano Basin is located in the southwestern part of Ghana and lies between Latitudes 50 N and 70 40’ N, and Longitudes 20 00’ W and 30 15’ W. The southern section is generally low in altitude, ranging between 0 and 150 m above mean sea level. The general topography of the entire basin, however, ranges between 0 and 700 m above mean sea level. The climate of the Tano Basin falls partly under the wet semi-equatorial and partly under south-western equatorial climatic zones of Ghana. It is thus characterised by double rainfall maxima.
Land Use Patterns
The Tano basin traverses three administrative regions: the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, and Western Regions, comprising 21 administrative districts. Arable lands occupy the highest percentage of the total landmass. There is commercial farming of cocoa, plantain, and other commercial and food crops. Only about 10% of the landmass is used for human settlement. The forest cover represents the second highest land use pattern in the basin and follows closely after agricultural lands, occupying about 50% of the total landmass of the basin. The remaining 40% of the landmass is covered by forests which are largely protected areas.
River Tano at Elubo
The Tano basin has its source within the forest in Pooyem, 4 Km from Techiman, and flows roughly north-south into the sea. The basin enters the sea outside Ghana, in the Cote d’Ivoire. The main tributaries of the Tano River system are the Abu, Amama, Bo, Disue, Soro, Atronie, Sabom, Gaw, Kwasa, Sumre, and Totua. The Tano River System has a total catchment area of about 15,000 Km2 shared between Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire. About 93% of the drainage area is within Ghana whilst the remaining 7% is in the Cote D’Ivoire. The Tano River Basin constitutes a major source of domestic water supply from surface and groundwater. Other uses include industrial, mining and irrigation.
Water Resources Management Challenges
The major challenge in the basin is the proliferation of water weeds in the Tano/Abby/Ehy lagoon complex as well as along 25km of the river from the confluence of the Tano River with the lagoon complex. An Integrated Water Resources Management Plan has been drawn up for the basin. The plan consists of interventions which will address the challenges.
Composition of the Tano Basin Board
The Tano Basin Board was constituted in December 2011 and will be inaugurated in 2012. Representatives of the following make up the Board:
- Asutifi District Assembly,
- Techiman Municipal Assembly
- Tano North District Assembly
- Aowin/Suaman District Assembly
- Jomoro District Assembly
- Ahafo Ano North District Assembly
- Atwima Mponua District Assembly
- Brong Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Queen Mothers Association
- Minerals Commission
- Ghana Water Company Limited
- Ministry of Food and Agriculture
- Forestry Commission
- Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS)