General News of Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Accra, Nov. 19, GNA- France-based Air Water International Group, on Wednesday launched a machine that could extract humidity in the air and transform it into water for domestic and industrial consumption. The product, which is the first to be launched in Africa, could harvest more than 50 litres of drinking water for domestic use and 5,000 litres for farming and other commercial use.
Mr William Ofori Boafo, Deputy Minister of Defence, who launched the product in Accra, said conventional solutions to procure additional fresh water dams and desalination plants should be complemented, to meet the ever-increasing demand for potable water.
He said lack of fresh water was one of the most critical challenges facing mankind stressing; "Worldwide, more than 1.1. billion people lack access to safe drinking water." Mr Boafo said the UN had declared water as a global crisis since 55 nations were not likely to meet their water related Millennium Development Goal target. The UN estimates that within 20 years three billion people in 50 countries or 30 per cent of the world population, will face severe water shortage.
The world body declared Africa as the most vulnerable continent to global warming and this could result in water scarcity for up to 250 million Africans within 15 years. Mr Boafo noted that constant supply of potable water would translate to vast improvements in human health and life expectancy, drastic reduction in health costs, freedom from the perpetual daily task of people carrying water and a potential for previously unattainable economic development.
Mr Frank Agyekum, Deputy Minister of Information and National Orientation, who chaired the function observed that water, which is a major resource in life is being threatened by climatic change and also becoming a source of conflicts. He therefore expressed joy that the machine is contributing to the innovative means to ensure sustainable water supply. Mr Agyekum called on Air Water International, to make the product accessible, cost effective and provide back-up maintenance support for the local market.