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Opinions of Thursday, 24 April 2008

Columnist: Turncoat, Patriot

Urban Water Supply: P/NDC’s 20-year Record vrs NPP’s 7-year Record


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We’ll keep this short, simple and readable, so let’s get straight to the point.

The p/NDC’s 20-year Record

The p/NDC’s 20-year legacy can be summarized as follows:

Cape-Coast - No Water

Sunyani - No Water

Tamale - No Water

Kwamikrom - No Water

Wa - No Water

Somanya - No Water

Ho - No Water

Koforidua – No Water

In fact, same story applies across several urban areas. I can't list them all here.

Accra - Erratic water supply on the same infrastructure built by Kwame Nkrumah.

Challenges Faced by the NPP

So the NPP takes over in 2001 and is faced with numerous challenges, yet limited resources.

Which urban areas to prioritize?

The results:

Cape-Coast/Central Region Water projects - $200 million. (Recently completed. Undergoing test runs).

Tamale Water Project - $200 million (includes an additional $100 million announced on April 16th, 2007. First Phase to be completed in August).

Accra East-West Interconnection- $190 million. (To be completed in 2009).

Wa Water Project - $90 million (Expected completion in 2010). Sunyani – Water now

Somanya - Water now

Koforidua – Water now

Ho - Still no water, but something in the pipeline.

Plus several other urban water projects, such as those at Berekum, New Tafo, Kwamikrom, Winneba, Kwahu Ridge, Barikese (Kumasi), Hohoe etc.

The Special Case of Accra

It is a well-known fact that, during its 20-year reign, the p/NDC did very little to maintain or improve on the Accra water projects undertaken by Nkrumah.

The first task for the NPP was therefore to renovate the existing system; which is no mean task given the decay.

Unexpectedly something happens; An Economic Boom. Accra is experiencing explosive growth due to this economic boom… and now the NPP has to play catch-up.

In a way, the NPP has become a victim of its own success.

The Accra East-West Interconnection is not expected to be completed until early 2009. Till then, residents of Accra shall contend with water rationing and other short-term measures. Some of these measures are detailed in a speech given by the Water Sector Minister which can be found at this link:

http://www.ghana.gov.gh/ghana/speech_presented_minister_water_resources_works_and_housing_hon_abubakar_saddique_boniface.jsp

The worst of the Accra water crisis is now over. The situation is now as "normal" as the p/NDC bequeathed to the NPP Gov't. [Given the population explosion in Accra, this means there has actually been some "progress"].

That said, the Gov't must do even more.

Conclusion

While Ghanaians are appreciative of the ongoing improvements to the urban water supply sector, there is unanimity that there is still more to be done. This is the time for the Gov’t to push the pedal to the metal to ensure that the pace of provision of basic social amenities, matches the pace of development that has been triggered by the economic boom.

Needless to say, Ghana shall prevail. We shall not flag or fail. Forward!

References:

1. http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/863914-1.html

2. http://allafrica.com/stories/200803040763.html

3. http://allafrica.com/stories/200804160914.html

4. http://www.ghana.gov.gh/ghana/speech_presented_minister_water_resources_works_and_housing_hon_abubakar_saddique_boniface.jsp

About the Author: Patriot Turncoat(email: kturncoat@aol.com) is an Independent Social Commentator. His areas of interest include Energy, ICT and Social policy debates.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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