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16.03.2007 General News

NR Minister warns of looming danger

By : The Ghanaian Times

Northern Regional Minister, Mustapha Ali Idris, has sent out an SOS to stave off "a looming danger" as the region faces acute water shortage.

He said most of the communities face severe water crisis which could threaten their very existence if nothing is done urgently in the next two months.

Construction projects are also being delayed because of the scarcity of water.

Alhaji Idris met the region's contractors over the crisis on Thursday and proposed a number of measures, including a call on the contractors to team up and build dams in the communities in which they operate.

This will make them less dependant on the scarce water sources which at present they share with the communities.

He also appealed to the sector ministry, foreign missions and international agencies to intervene immediately before the situation gets out of hand.

He attributed the crisis to the change in the rainfall pattern of the region which he said has worsened poverty levels among the people.

The minister, however, cautioned the contractors not to use the water shortage as an excuse to do shoddy jobs, saying this would not be tolerated by his office.

He said they should employ qualified engineers and other skilled personnel to ensure that quality work is done.

Alhaji Sherif Mahama, Regional Chairman of the Contractors Association, said as a result of the acute water shortage, some communities have chased away a number of contractors from their project sites.

He said the communities have warned them not to venture to use the little water available for their projects.

Some of the community leaders have asked them to pack their equipment from the sites as they would not sacrifice their survival for projects, he said, adding that this had led to a number of road projects being abandoned by contractors.

The Northern Region, particularly Tamale, is experiencing a construction boom which has put pressure on water and cement supply.

Most of the projects, including a modern stadium, hotels, the road network and drainage system, are being constructed ahead of the CAN 2008 tournament next January.

Source: The Ghanaian Times