Regional News of Tuesday, 8 April 2003

Source: .

Rural Water Supply Tops NPP's Agenda

THE VOLTA regional minister, Hon. Kwasi Owusu Yeboah, has stated that the provision of potable water to the rural people is so high on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government's agenda that it considers it as an essential component of the poverty reduction programme that it is pursuing. He, therefore, promised that the government will do all in its power to achieve that objective.

Hon. Yeboah made the statement at recently at a one-day meeting of members of Parliament (MPs), district chief executives (DCEs) and representatives of Water and Sanitation Development Boards (WSDB) of some communities in the region.

The minister said there is a memorandum of understanding with the German government to fund 905 water projects in identified rural communities. He, however, noticed that district assemblies and benefiting communities have not been able to come up with their component contribution which is 10%.

He wondered whether the non-payment is due to failure arising out of incapacity or wilful refusal to pay, and reminded participants that it is universally recognized that the most effective way of establishing sustainable ownership of water system is to be part of the project.

The meeting which was a medium of brainstorming over practical strategies for the payment of the prescribed contributions, was said to be the last chance for the assemblies and communities to indicate their interest in the programme or lose out.

Earlier, the regional chief executive of Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Mr. E. F. Boateng, said for now 11 communities in the Volta region are to benefit from a multi-billion-cedi German Technical Co-operation (GTZ/KFW) facility.

They include Kpetoe, Ahamansu, Keta-Krachi, Nkwanta, Adidome, Akatsi, Dzodze, Ehie, Penyi, Katanga and Likpe Mate.

According to Mr. Boateng, the project which falls under an Eastern and Volta regions assistance programme has been awarded to top international engineering company.

Welcoming participants in an opening speech, the MP for Ketu North and chairman of the meeting, Hon. Modestus Y.Z. Ahiable, suggested that considering the low levels of rural incomes part of the HIPC relief funds should be channeled to offset the contributions of poor communities.

The entire assistance of 90% German funding nationwide is said to be up to ?50.9 billion.