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02.03.2007 General News

House Approves $113 For Sewerage Projects

By newtimes

Parliament yesterday approved two loan agreements totalling 113 million dollars for the Accra Sewerage Improvement Project (ASIP) and Coastal Transmission Backbone Projects.

The loans comprise 45 million dollars from the International Development Association and 68 million dollars from African Development Fund.

Professor George Gyan Baffour, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, moved the motion was for the approval and it was seconded by Nii Adu Mante, Chairman of the Finance Committee.

Members of Parliament gave overwhelming support to the loan agreement and called for proper sewerage management system in the country.

ASIP will ensure an improved and extended sewerage and sanitation for disposing of waste water from the city of Accra in a manner that is socially and environmentally acceptable to meet the demand up to year 2020.

It will also strengthen the capacity of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to operate and maintain the system on a sustainable basis.

Nii Adu Mante noted that only 15 per cent of the Metropolis, mainly the central area, is served by piped sewerage network with the remaining areas served by on-site sanitation facilities including septic tanks and improved pit latrine.

He said the sewerage network which was constructed in the early seventies had seen very little extension and due to the limited number of treatment sites, seepage from the on-site facilities was either disposed of in water bodies or in nearby drains or open space.

Nii Mante said even though there are individual sewerage systems constructed and operated by different organisations, none of these systems is currently operational.

Nii Mante said the committee noted that the loan facility will help construct two treatment plants at Legon and Densu Delta.

The committee noted that the immediate beneficiaries of the project will be the urban and peri-urban population of Accra of about 1.5 million the majority of whom are poor.

The remaining population, he said would benefit from public toilets and sanitation education programmes.

He said the technical team from Ghana Water Company Limited informed the committee that 61 kilometres of sewerage lines will be constructed under the project.

On the transmission backbone project, he said the committee will assist the country to develop a more stable and reliable exchange of electricity among member nations of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) 'Zone A' coastal states.

The WAPP is a regional infrastructure development programme of ECOWAS fully aligned with the goals of NEPAD.

The idea is to ensure the interconnection of power and to allow the trading of energy through all ECOWAS countries thereby leading to the optimisation and effective use of energy in the participating countries.

Nii Mante said the committee observed that the project when completed, would go a long way to reduce the nation's over reliance on the Akosombo Dam and also avoiding situations where the country had to resort to load shedding which had led to loss in revenue and unemployment.

Earlier, the House raised concerns about inadequate and sometimes absence of street lighting in some places. This was occasioned by a statement by Iddrisu Dawuda (NDC-Karaga).

The Majority Leader and acting Minister of Transportation, Felix Owusu-Adjapong, answered questions posed to the Ministry about the status of some road projects.