Let’s celebrate the First Desalination Plant in West Africa

LAST Friday, Ghana again chalked a feat which should have been celebrated with fanfare, but passed off with a modest ceremony in Accra. It was the inauguration of the desalination plant by President John Mahama, at Nungua, in Accra.

The success story was that, Ghana scored a first, with the establishment of West Africa’s first- ever desalination plant.

Built under a $126 million public-private partnership, and situated in the Ledzokuku-Krowor municipality, the plant will pump 13million gallons of water daily to the homes of 500,000 residents in and around the catchment area.

The completion of the project, put to rest, the over 25 years problem of water shortage and scarcity in Ledzokuku-Krowor and parts of La Dadekotopon, also in the Greater Accra Region.

Significantly, the project, constructed by ABENGOA, the Spanish fresh water firm, under a 25-year build-own-operate-transfer, would sell the desalinated water to the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), which would, in turn distribute it to the households and business houses.

It is exciting that the project has been completed to augment water supply in the Greater Accra Region, many of whose residents have had to endure water shortages several months, each year.

We recall that when the idea to establish the plant was first mooted, many were skeptical about its viability and actually doubted whether sea water, could be turned into safe potable water for consumption, domestic chores, and commercial use.

The Times is glad that by the desalination process, water supply in Accra, would be boosted and distribution enhanced to cover a lot more residents.

As stated by President Mahama at the inaugural ceremony, the increase in water supply, would help prevent water-related ailments, especially cholera.

We are delighted that the project has been completed, and hope that the doubting Thomases would now change their minds about desalination, which is simply the process of removing dissolved salts and minerals from sea water, to produce drinking water in the process.

What is significant is that desalination is a cost effective way of providing fresh water, where it was formerly limited.

We commend the government and the company which saw the project through, but caution that all environmental and economic challenges associated with it, must be resolved in the most efficient manner.

We are no doubt convinced that the siting of the project in that area, was well thought of, considering the chronic and perennial water shortages there.

It is therefore, heartwarming that residents at the project area, are equally excited, and welcomed the flow of the desalinated water into their homes.

We hope that the project would be replicated in other communities along the country’s coastline to enable many more Ghanaians to benefit from the abundant sea water the country is blessed with.

And we are sure the periodic maintenance of the plant would be undertaken, to ensure its anticipated lifespan.

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