The attention of the Water Resources Commission was drawn to media reports that the Nsukwaw River, which runs through Koforidua, the capital of Eastern Region, had completely changed from its original colourless nature to red ‘blood-like’ colour in the morning of Saturday October 7, 2017.  

The event sparked anxiety among the residents and it was widely believed that blood had been spilled into the River for which reason some pastors and religious groups had to pray over the issue. It was also reported that Baffour Nyantakyi Tutu Boateng, Krontihene of the New Juaben Traditional Council in the Eastern Region, alleged that it was colour from somebody doing his tie-and-dye business.

The Commission has carried out investigations to determine the source and cause of the change in colour of the Nsukwaw River, its water quality, and actions to forestall future occurrences.

The investigations revealed the following:

-       The source was indeed from a small-scale batik/tie and dye textile manufacturing factory at Koforidua-Zongo (close to Ghana Senior High School).

-       The factory through its activities did spill red dye into the Nsukwaw River, thereby polluting and changing its colour.

-       Water samples collected and tested along the entire stretch (upper stream, mid-stream and downstream) of the river revealed that:

  • The colour of the portion of the river near the factory exceeded the WHO recommended value for domestic water use. This was due to the presence of dye.

-       The red colour had cleared by the early afternoon of Monday October 9, 2017 and the river has since returned to its normal quality.

-       However, there were still residue of the red dye in pot holes on the road leading to the factory.

-       Generally, the river is currently not being used for domestic purposes.

WRC has initiated action to deal with the polluter and forestall any future occurrences.



Ben Ampomah

Executive Secretary

This entry was posted on October 12, 2017