Water for All Agenda: Govt invests over $740m …in 8 water supply projects
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has said government has so far invested more than US$740 million in eight water supply projects which were at various stages of progression.
These projects, she said, were the Yendi, Tamale, Bolgatanga, Damongo, Wenchi, Sunyani, Keta and Sekondi-Takoradi water supply projects.
Ms Dapaah, who provided the update on the number of projects currently ongoing in the country when she took her turn at the weekly Meet-the-press series in Accra yesterday, said value for money audit for the Keta project had been completed.
Site acquisition for the plant and intake have also been completed with contractors on site and construction currently ongoing.
Similarly, on the Tamale Water Supply Project, she said the loan agreement had been signed, with value for money (VfM) audit completed to pave way for commencement of the project.
In addition, she said the development phase had been completed.
On the Damongo, she explained that it was currently at the development phase.
This she said included the completion of detailed engineering design, signing of loan agreement, as well as the completion of VfM which would paveway for the start of the project.
Touching on the Yendi project, the Minister said preparation of detailed project report (DPR) and final tender document for rehabilitation and upgrading of the potable water system had been completed.
However, it was awaiting shortlisted companies from the Indian Exim Bank to initiate the procurement of a contractor to undertake the construction of the water supply system.
On Wenchi, Ms Dapaah explained that the preliminary designs were ongoing while the contractor was at the site undertaking site clearance.
Ms Dapaah said the loan agreement for the Sekondi-Takoradi project had been signed, with Value for Money audit completed.
She said advance payment was being processed to enable the contractor mobilise to site.
In addition to this, she said the loan agreement for the Sunyani Project had been signed while Value for Money (VfM) Audit had been completed.
This she explained would pave way for the project to begin since the development phase had been completed.
Ms Dapaah said in addition to the eight projects, the government had invested US$1.2 million in rural water supply projects to improve access to potable water nationwide.
She said the projects, when fully completed, would provide potable water to about five million people in the water supply chain by 2023.
According to her, the 2021 Population and Housing Census revealed that access to potable water was averagely pegged at 87.7 per cent nationwide, with urban areas having 96.4 per cent access and 74.4 per cent for rural areas.
Ms Dapaah said the investment in the water supply sector reflected the government’s burning desire to improve water access for every Ghanaian in line with the “Water for All Agenda.”
However, she expressed worry over a number of negative human activities which were hindering interventions to improve water access to the people.
Listing some of these activities, she said they included illegal mining, encroachment on water supply infrastructure, stone/sand winning, farming along buffer zones of river bodies and release of effluents into water bodies.
“The integrity of this renewable freshwater resource endowment, together with the availability of groundwater at various geological locations is constantly being threatened by these irresponsible human activities and we must stop this evil,” the Minister fumed.
The Minister said the Ministry would soon embark on house-to-house audit to deal with illegal water connection by individuals in order to prevent loss of revenue by the Ghana Water Company Limited.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL