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General News of Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Source: GNA

Govt addressing water supply hardships - Boniface

Accra, March 11, GNA - Government is not oblivious of the temporary water supply hardships that the population is facing and is making all efforts to address the situation, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, said on Tuesday.
Addressing the media at the meet-the press series in Accra, Alhaji Saddique said government had embarked on numerous projects both for the mid-term and long-term, to solve the crisis.
"It is only a matter of time when these projects fully come on stream that government will be appreciated for the efforts made to improve water supply to, especially the urban water sector," he indicated.
Explaining further, the Minister noted that government has started a major project dubbed: "Development of Megawatershed" in parts of Accra.
The project, envisaged to take about six moths to complete after all agreements and other technical and financial requirements are concluded, involves deep drilling to tap water from deep down the earth.
When that is concluded, it would inject, initially, about 20 million gallons per day into the Accra water distribution system and aid the supply volume to increase with time.
In the medium term, Alhaji Saddique said government had been able to obtain financing for a number of water projects all over the country since 2002.
These include the Kwanyaku Water Rehabilitation and Expansion Works, which have been completed while work is to start to connect Kasoa and its environs to that system.
Also to be interconnected is the Winneba Water Treatment Works which when completed would relieve Weija of water supply to these areas thereby releasing water to supplement supply to Accra. He said the Cape Coast water supply project was also completed and was undergoing test runs and formal commissioning.
He mentioned other projects to be completed within the next year or two, as Baifikrom water supply project, Barekese, Tamale and Koforidua rehabilitation and expansion.
According to the Minister, other projects to be started this year include rural areas within the Accra-Tema Metropolitan Areas, which involve the rehabilitation of the old Kpong plant to boost supplies to the Akwapim Ridge area, parts of Manya and Yilo Krobo areas to Dangme West and parts of Dangme East.
He said for the long-term the Ministry through the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) was preparing a strategic investment plan to cover demand in the urban sector up to 2025.
For the rural and small towns, similar plans have been concluded already for up to 2015.
On whether government was considering the termination of the contract with Aqua Vitens Rand Limited, the company acting for and on behalf of GWCL as operators of water, Alhaji Saddique said, "it was premature to do that".
He, however, said government would review the contract before taking a final decision.

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