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General News of Wednesday, 13 July 2016


I’ve eliminated 'Kufuor gallons' - Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama President John Dramani Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama has celebrated as a remarkable achievement of his government the elimination of water storage containers, popularly known as “Kufuor gallons”, in the national capital.

The mostly yellow water container got the "Kufuor" tag from Ghanaians because its purpose became very synonymous with struggles for drinking water in some parts of the city at the time of former President John Agyekum Kufuor in office.

Many found the spectacle quite distressing, especially in densely populated areas with endless queues of such containers in front an overstretched borehole at one corner, or scores of disappointed individuals roaming with the empty containers in search of water at another.

President Mahama claims his government has ‘toppled’ that distressing period by expanding water coverage systems not only in the national capital but throughout the country.

“Our government is a government in a hurry. Over the last three and a half years, we have worked assiduously to provide the people of Ghana with the things that they deserve in order to make life better, to create a decent and dignified existence. In Accra for instance, the whole of the northern part of Accra never used to get water. It was typical to see people holding yellow jerrycans which were eventually nicknamed Kufuor gallons.

“Today, you go to Accra, you can’t find those yellow jerrycans. At least for fetching water, they are not being used. Because with the expansion of the Kpong Water Project we did, 40 million gallons more of water is being pumped to Accra. And so Adenta and East Legon and all those places that were water-starved today have access to water,” the President said.

President Mahama said this Tuesday when he addressed a durbar of chiefs and people of the Builsa Traditional Area as part of his “Accounting to the People” tour of the Upper East Region.

The government, according to the President, has invested “a lot of money” in water expansion projects to extend water to the doorsteps of the citizenry.

Ghana, he said, now has the highest percentage of access to potable water in West Africa as a result of the investments made so far in both rural and water expansion projects.

“Today, as I speak, access to clean drinking water in Ghana, both urban and rural, has risen from 58% in 2008 to 76%. And so 76 percent of our people have access to clean, drinking water And this is the highest in West Africa,” the President disclosed.

He added: “And I have said by the year 2020 we should achieve universal access to clean, drinking water. So, we are going to continue to do water expansion projects. We’ve done hundreds of small town water projects. We’ve done hundreds of boreholes. We’ve expanded urban water.”

Saudi government approves funding for hospital project

The President also touted the strides made so far in the health sector, saying government had built polyclinics, Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds, health centres and district hospitals.

He further disclosed that the Saudi Arabia Government had approved funding for the second phase of the ongoing expansion project at the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga.

“The Bolga hospital, we’ve almost finished the first phase. The Saudi government has approved funding for the second phase which we’ll build into a proper regional hospital so that if you have any referrals, you don’t have to go all the way to Tamale or Komfo Anokye. If you go to the Bolga hospital, there will be all the equipment that you will find in Komfo Anokye or Tamale Teaching Hospital,” he said.

Earlier, the President had announced at Bawku his intention to raise funds for the construction of a new government hospital in the area.

“Bawku currently does not have a modern government hospital. And so we intend to build a modern government hospital that befits the status of Bawku in my second term in office,” he promised.

Builsa may get a UDS campus

The Builsaland has an overwhelming array of accomplished intellectuals around the globe, with a vast reservoir of raw young talents as boundless as its green landscape. But, startling as observers have found it, that endowed zone of the Upper East Region is the only traditional area without any tertiary institution today.

The Paramount Chief of the area, Nab Azagsuk Azantilow II, surrounded by his elders and people, spoke point blank about that tertiary gap at the durbar with the President.

“Colonial governments recognised us. Today as His Excellency is here, we are asking for a tertiary institution. It is the only traditional area in the region that has no tertiary institution, yet it was the first in the pre-independence period to have a government middle boarding school,” the monarch said.

In response, President Mahama said: “I’ve taken note of the request you’ve made with respect to a tertiary institution here. I’m going to take it up especially with the University for Development Studies and see if we can put one of the campuses of the University for Development Studies in your area.”

The President left the durbar ground, applauded for his promise by a crowd too excited to wait for the dawn of a tertiary institution in their land.

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