General News of Thursday, 19 February 2004

Source: GNA

NGOs spend $40m on water in Ghana, Mali, Niger

Fourteen international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are spending 40 million dollars to provide potable water and sanitation facilities, under an integrated water resources management in some rural communities of Ghana, Mali and Niger. The NGOs, which would be supported by the West African Water Initiative (WAWI), include World Vision International (WVI), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), NewEnergy and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The others are the Conrad Hilton Foundation, Cornell International Research Institution for Food, Agriculture and Development, Carter Centre, Lions Club International Foundation and Winrock International. Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, Minister of Works and Housing, who launched the WAWI in Tamale on Thursday, said the implementation of the project in Ghana would help reduce the incidence of guinea worm infection and other water borne-diseases in the beneficiary communities. He said the successful execution of the project would impart positively on the economic welfare of the people, particularly women and children.

Alhaji Idris, who is also Member of Parliament for Gukpegu/Sabongida, commended the World Vision Ghana for providing water and sanitation amenities in the country, especially in the Afram Plains where more than 1,120 boreholes with hand-pumps had been provided. He appealed to the Ghana Water Company and other water related agencies to ensure regular water supply to the communities.

Mr Bismark Nerquaye-Tetteh, WAWI Project Coordinator for the three countries, said the NGOs would work in partnership with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), District Assemblies, Health Management Teams, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

He said the WAWI's programme started in Mali and Niger last two years and expressed the hope that Ghana's project would be completed by 2008.