President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday inaugurated the rehabilitated €28.2 million Kwanyaku water expansion project and said that public taxes alone were not enough to meet potable water demands across the country.
He said it was for this reason that private sector partnership was crucial and asked the public to appreciate the private sector role in the management of water to ensure sustained supplies.
The inauguration of the facility is regarded as a giant step in the provision of the scarce utility and formed part of the government's efforts to make potable water easily accessible to all parts of the country.
President Kufuor urged the beneficiary communities to develop the culture of maintenance to enhance the life span of the project and called on traditional rulers and district assemblies to implement by-laws to protect the environment and water bodies.
The project involved the construction of an additional treatment plant, laying of 10 kilometres of trunk main pipelines, 11 km of distribution lines and is expected to increase water supply to six districts from a total of 2.7 million gallons a day to 7.7 million gallons a day.
It was financed through a Dutch government mixed credit facility and is targeted to meet the water supply demand of an expected population of 750,000 people in the Agona, Gomoa, Mfantsiman, Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, Asikuma Odoben Brakwa and Awutu-Efutu-Senya districts.
Mr Hackman Owusu Agyeman, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, said the government would remain committed in providing potable water to all parts of the country and said the government had sourced an amount of 4 million Euros to expand water supply to other parts in the Central Region.
He said plans were in progress to provide Assin Fosu in Central Region, and Techiman with potable water and gave the assurance that the government would never play politics with the provision of water to communities.
He called on the staff of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to work harder so that the huge investment the government was making in the provision of potable water did not go waste.
Mr Cobby Kessie Managing Director of GWCL said the expansion of the Kwanyaku water project would solve the acute water problem in the six beneficiary districts.
He also advised them against illegal water connection and urged them to pay their bills promptly and hinted that a water resource unit would soon be put in place to safeguard all water sources in the country. He, in this regard, called on traditional rulers and district assemblies to collaborate with the GWCL to ensure the success of the unit to protect the water bodies in the country.
Mr Michiel Bierkens representative of Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, said his government was committed in supporting the government of Ghana in its water and sanitation needs and that it has contributed more than 250,000 Euros in that direction.
He said through the Dutch government, Koforidua, Tamale, Takoradi, Winneba, Cape Coast, Weija and Kwanyaku have been supplied with water and that Assin Foso, Techiman and Wa would also soon benefit.
Nana Akatakyi Nyarkueku X, Paramount chief of the Agona traditional area, commended the Dutch and Ghana Governments for the kind gesture and gave the assurance that they would continue to support the government in its development projects.