Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of State at the Ministry for Water Resources, Works and Housing, on Monday announced that government had so far invested 700 million US dollars towards improvement of water supply in urban areas in the country since 2001.
She said government would continue to consider water supply as a priority and every effort was being made to address the challenges in the water sector.
Mrs Dapaah who said these at the 2007 Annual Review Conference of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) in Koforidua, stressed that government had not reneged on its promise to ensure that potable water was made available to the people.
She said though there were some critical challenges, especially in the urban centers, those problems should not be used as a yardstick to gloss over the many interventions that government had undertaken to improve water supply situation in the country.
Mrs Dapaah called for proper maintenance of water supply and sanitation facilities throughout the country to make them sustainable.
She urged the district assemblies and the CWSA to monitor closely the sale of water by beneficiary communities to ensure that funds were set aside for future major capital replacement.
Mrs Dapaah also called for transparency in the management of revenues accruing from the sale of water, adding that “Proper books of accounts must be maintained and the Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) Committees and Water Boards should render accounts to the community in a transparent manner.”
Mr Kwadwo Affram-Asiedu, Eastern Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, reminded stakeholders in the water sector of the crucial roles they were expected to play in ensuring an accelerated delivery of safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities to the communities.
He urged all players at both regional and district levels to be proactive in ensuring that all water and sanitation installations at the community level were operated and managed in a sustainable manner.
Mr Affram-Asiedu said water and energy and water supplies and road construction had been classified as prioritized areas where government intended to focus its attention within the next few years by increasing funds allocated to those sectors.
Dr Philip Gyau-Boakye, Chief Executive, CWSA, mentioned inadequate budgetary allocation as some of the problems facing the Agency and appealed to the sector ministry to help address those issues.
He said the Agency also continued to battle with the challenge of using old vehicles in many of the regions and appealed to the ministry to help in acquiring vehicles for the Agency.
Dr Gyau-Boakye said during the year under review, the agency constructed a total of 637 boreholes and hand pumps installed as against an annual target of 1,200, a total of 228 boreholes were also rehabilitated as against a target of 400.
Similarly, 80 hand-dug wells with hand-pumps were completed as against a target of 45 and 13 hand-dug wells were rehabilitated as against a target of eight.
The week-long conference is under the theme “Facility Ownership and Effective Operation and Maintenance- A challenge for sustainability”.