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29.03.2004 Regional News

Two small town water systems commissioned in Tamale

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Tamale, March 29, WaterAid Ghana, a British NGO, is investing 1.5 million pounds sterling annually for the next three years to provide potable water in the country.

Mr Iddissa Doucoure, West Africa Regional Manager of WaterAid announced this on Monday at the commissioning of two small town water systems for two communities in the Tamale Metropolis at a cost of 225 million cedis in the Tamale Metropolis.

Mr Doucoure said it was the aim of WaterAid to alleviate the negative health and economic impact of inadequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene. He said the NGO was therefore, collaborating with other development agencies to design an urban water and sanitation initiatives such as upgrading old and low-level water systems to befit urban status, construction of household latrines and building the capacities of stakeholders in the water sector.

NewEnergy, a local NGO, undertook the two projects for the Tishigu and Dohinaayili communities, who hitherto, were using the old wells constructed by the colonial masters. Each of the wells yields an average of 245 litres of water per minute and it is supposed to serve 2,000 persons per day.

Dr Agartha Aboe, Country Representative of International Trachoma Initiative of the WHO, announced that her organization in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service and other development partners is implementing a programme aimed at eliminating trachoma by the year 2010. "We are using surgery, antibiotic distribution, face washing and environment and sanitation (SAFE) strategy recommended by the WHO to reduce trachoma", she said.

She said more than 1,000 people who were at the potentially blind stage of the disease had undergone surgery to correct their ailments while 336,000 doses of azithromycin have been distributed to people in the endemic areas of Northern and Upper West Regions.

Dr Aboe said "Pfizer", an American pharmaceutical company had donated more than 300,000 doses of azithromycin to her organization to be used for this year's mass treatment.

Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Minister of Works and Housing who commissioned the facilities, said the government was committed to providing potable water for all to improve the health and economic life of the people. He said the government had therefore provided four billion cedis for the expansion of water supply in the Tamale Metropolis adding that constructional work on the pipelines had started in some of the beneficiary communities. He assured the people that the acute water problems in the Metropolis would soon be addressed and urged the people to co-operate to ensure the smooth completion of the project.

Alhaji Iddrisu Adam, Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive who chaired the function, called on NGOs to include Tamale rural in their development interventions to improve the quality of life of the people.