Dec 22 2006
Residents of Bomigo, an island community of around 2,500 people in the Volta Region, now have access to potable water following the construction of a water supply system funded by the Australian High Commission.
At a ceremony to officially handover the project to the community, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Jonathan Richardson said the donation was Australia's small contribution at the local level to Ghana's efforts at addressing its water supply problems and towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal target of reducing by half the proportion of people worldwide without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.
A statement from the High Commission said the water supply system was funded under the High Commission's Direct Aid Programme to assist communities undertake small-scale development projects.
The project involved the laying of pipes from the nearest source of safe water supply two kilometres away, and underneath the 300 metre stretch of one of the tributaries of the Volta which is 6 to 10 metres deep in places.
Mr Richardson observed that since Australia re-established its mission in Ghana about two years ago, the Australian Government has supported funding for a number of community-based projects in different parts of the country covering sectors such as health, education, gender development and water supply.
In the area of water supply, the Australian Government has funded projects in communities in the Upper West and the Western Regions, as well as sanitation projects in the Eastern Region and Greater Accra.
The High Commissioner said he was confident that the project would improve the quality of life members of the island community.
He pointed out that Australia frequently faced its own challenges of access to water. It was currently in the grip of what some experts believed was its worst drought for 1,000 years.
In coping with these challenges, Australia had evolved innovative technologies and water management solutions. In this regard, he was pleased that an Australian-Ghanaian joint venture company, Ghana Pumps and Tanks, had been involved in the Bomigo project.
Mr Richardson noted the efforts of the MP for the area, Kofi Humado and the Bomigo Youth and Development Association for taking the initiative in getting this project under way and providing joint funding.
He also congratulated the people of Bomigo, the Keta District Chief Executive and the Volta Foundation for collaborating to make the project a success.
Representative of the Bomigo Youth and Development Association, Frederick Dzanado said the project was a dream come true for the community and that the women were going to be the major beneficiaries. He said before the project was undertaken, the women hustled to provide safe drinking water at the peril of their lives as the water was transported in containers in canoes that sometimes capsized.
Raymond Okudzeto, Chairman of the Volta Foundation, said the project was a good example of how peaceful collaboration between all actors in a community on a non-political basis could help to promote development.