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07.07.2009 Regional News

Keyime Assembly Member appeals to gov`t...Re-construct Keyime Dam source of drinking water

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The Chiefs and people of the Keyime Electoral Area in the Adaklu-Anyigbe District have appealed to the government to help provide them with potable drinking water, which is the main problem facing the people, and calls for urgent attention.

According to the chiefs and people, the absence of water affects economic activities, particularly farming, which is the major occupation in the area, as the people spend their economic time in search of water throughout the day.

The Assembly Member for the Keyime Electoral Area, Mr. Daniel Agbesi Latsu, who made the appeal through Volta File on behalf of the chiefs and people, said due to the unavailability of water in the area, women and pupils spend their precious time in search of water, which at times makes it impossible for them to be in the classrooms, while they also share their water source, which included stagnant water, with domestic animals.

Mr. Agbesi Latsu explained that the only source of drinking water for the people in the past was a 16 hectare square dam constructed in 1963, which served over forty-two towns and villages, but the dam was destroyed in 1995 as a result of heavy rains, thereby denying the people potable drinking water.

The Assembly Member said since 1995 the people of Keyime and surrounding communities have relied on unhygienic water sources, which lead to epidemics of water-related diseases such as guinea worm, noting that even though boreholes were provided for some of the communities, such water sources were not reliable, because they dried up during the dry season, or did no flow frequently.

He continued that due to the poor borehole system in the area, people, particularly women and children, spend the whole day in a long queue waiting to fetch water, which most of the times they do not get, thereby compelling them to rely on the River Todzie, which is about fifteen kilometers away.

Mr. Agbesi Latsu said apart from the dam serving as the main source of drinking water for the people, it also promoted economic activities, because the people engaged in fishing activities on the dammed water, which led to the development of a vibrant fishing industry in the area.

He said to the flourishing fishing activities helped in providing the protein needs of the people, which consequently attracted business women from Kpetoe, Ho and Akatsi to purchase fish from the fishermen at Keyim, thereby making the area one of the business centers in the District.

Mr. Agbesi Latsu pointed out that the dam also enhanced farming activities, as the people used it as a source of water for irrigation activities during off farm season, used lands in the catchment area of the dam, particularly for the cultivation of vegetables, including tomatoes and okro, which were in high demand.

He said after the dam was destroyed, agriculture activities were affected, particularly in the area of vegetable cultivation, because the people who were mainly farmers, were deprived of their source of water for irrigation purposes, which the dam provided, adding that as a result of that most of the youth who relied on the dam, left the area to other towns and cities in search of jobs.

The destruction of the dam greatly affected agriculture in the area, as the Ho Municipal Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, until the destruction of the dam had established a plant nursery along the banks.

Plants such as coconut and palm nut were nursed, as well as vegetable seedlings such as garden eggs, pepper and others.

Another important activity Mr. Agbesi Latsu mentioned was that the banks of the dam were equally used as nursery grounds for teak for aforestation, which most of the youth in the area and the region in general saw as a lucrative business, and embraced the project.

The Assembly Member revealed that the Electoral Area generated about ninety percent of its tax revenue from levies paid by the fishermen, farmers and market women, who throng the area for their respective business activities, noting that since the dam burst, the area could no longer mobilise much revenue.

Mr. Agbesi Latsu disclosed that as a result of the revenue mobilised through the economic activities engaged in by the people, they were able to build the Keyime Health Centre, which has made healthcare delivery easy and affordable to the people, and the engagement of other community development projects.

The Assembly Member said the people in the area were happy when in the Friday December 16, 2005 edition of the Daily Graphic, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development tendered the project under the Community Based Rural Development Project with credit number 3964GH, adding that the project which was a priority need of the people was equally the number one on the tender list table.

Mr. Agbesi Latsu however noted that the people had become disappointed since the publication, as nothing was done about the project, and again appealed to the government to investigate the circumstances leading to the non-execution of the project, and consider the plight of the people and construct the dam to serve as source of drinking water, as well as promote economic activities in the area.

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