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30.04.2004 Regional News

Akatsi town gets portable water supply system

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Akatsi (V/R), April 29, GNA- A 9. 4 billion cedi Piped Water Supply System to serve the demand of 30,000 people within the Akatsi Township and surrounding villages was inaugurated on Thursday. The Akatsi facility is among 33 small towns water systems being constructed for the Eastern and Volta Regions with funding from the German and Ghana Governments at an estimated cost of 136. 8 billion cedis.

In all, a total of 17 of the systems are being constructed in the Volta Region while 16 are in the Eastern Region.

Inaugurating the project, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, Minister for Works and Housing, reiterated government's commitment to increasing the supply of potable water to small towns and rural communities in the country.

"It is in this direction that the Government had to pay 1.7 billion cedis on behalf of communities that were unable to raise the required five per cent of the cost of constructions to ensure scheduled completion of the projects", he said.

For instance Government had to pay 193 million cedis out of the total cost of 340 million cedis, which the Akatsi Community was to contribute to the project.

Alhaji Idriss said the funds for the project were allocated from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) benefits so as to support rural communities to meet their financial obligations.

He admonished the people to handle the facility effectively and ensure that it was maintained regularly to enhance its lifespan since under the National Community Water and Sanitation Programme; beneficiary communities were the owners and managers of these water facilities.

The Minister also called on the District Assembly to provide the necessary support to ensure that the facility was managed and kept in good operating condition at all times.

Alhaji Iddris expressed Government's appreciation to the German Government for the supporting the programme, saying: "It is our prayer and wish that the good relationship existing between our two countries would not only continue but also flourish and blossom to greater heights."

In a speech read for Mr Peter Linder, the German Ambassador to Ghana, he said Germany would provide support to improve access to safe water and sanitation for rural communities in line with the clear guidance of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy.

The Ambassador told the managers of the water facility to charge affordable fees to sustain the project in the long term. The Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Kofi Dzamesi expressed the hope that the community would make the most out of the system.