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06.04.2007 General News

Government signs for dredging machines

By myjoyonline
Government on Thursday signed a 13.6 million dollar grant with a manufacturer and supplier of dredging equipment, Messrs IHC HOLLAND BV of Holland, for the supply of dredging equipment and aquatic weed harvesters.

Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing, who signed on behalf of government, said the issue of water preservation had become critical, since the resource was finite yet strategic.

He said human activities; including abuses have led to the apparent shortage of water for drinking and other purposes within the communities.

He said over the years, increased erosion resulting from increased agricultural practices and other inimical land use practices within the various river basins have resulted in most of the water bodies suffering from reduced reservoir and channel capacities due to accumulation of silt.

"The situation has further been aggravated by extensive aquatic weed infestation in most of our water bodies," Mr Owusu-Agyemang said adding that if the appropriate measures such as dredging were done early enough, there would be drastic consequences for the country.

He therefore expressed appreciation to Messrs IHC Holland for responding to Ghana's call for help and urged them to speed up the manufacturing of the equipment for dredging to start as early as possible.

The Minister also thanked the Dutch Government for bearing 35 per cent of the cost of the manufacture of the three dredgers and ten weed harvesters.

Mr Owusu-Agyemang expressed optimism that that the grant would be paid early since sand from the dredged rivers and other water bodies would be used by the building industry, especially those putting up the government affordable houses.

He urged the agencies involved such as Water Resources Commission, Volta River Authority, Hydrological Services Department, Water Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Irrigation Development Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to collaborate for the fast execution of the project when the equipments arrives.

Mr Jean Maari, Project Engineer, IHC HOLLAND BV, who signed on behalf of his company, thanked government for the cooperation so far, adding that he was glad that negotiation that started some five years ago was ending with the signing of the contract.

He promised to deliver the equipment as early as possible.
Source: GNA


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