28.09.2004 General News

C40.8n released towards Guinea worm eradication.

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Klikor (V/R), Sept 29, GNA - The government has so far released about 40.8 billion cedis towards Guinea Worm eradication activities in the country.

President John Agyekum Kufuor, who announced this on Tuesday, said the ministries of Health, Works and Housing together with all relevant agencies must therefore make sure that results were achieved in this regard.

President Kufuor was inaugurating the completed Coastal Belt Water Supply Scheme constructed under the Community Water and Sanitation Project (CWSP) in the Volta Region at Kilo in the Ketu District. The 6.5 billion cedis's project was jointly financed by the governments of Ghana and Denmark.

The inauguration of the project to provide potable water for about 19,000 people within the six communities formed part of President Kufuor's three-day official tour of the Region.

The communities are Adina, Agavedzi, Amutinu, Blekusu all in the Ketu District and Horvi and Havedzi in the Keta District.

Some 5,789 new boreholes have been built and 3,223 others rehabilitated, 247 new small towns piped system and 225 small communities piped system have also been constructed under the CWSP since 1994.

President Kufuor said the national coverage for rural water supply had increased from the low level of about 28 percent in 1994 to the present level of about 47 percent.

He said though there had been an accelerated delivery of potable rural water supply, there was still a long way to go to ensure that virtually all rural dwellers were provided with potable and reliable water supply systems.

President Kufuor expressed regret that despite these modest gains there is an upsurge in Guinea Worm and Ghana has ranked second highest after Sudan in the world.

He appealed to stakeholders to redouble their efforts to ensure a well co-ordinated programme to eradicate the pandemic. President Kufuor commended the Danish Government that provided 440 million Kroners in grants over the past 10 years in the rural water and sanitation sub-sector.

He pledged the government's commitment to ensure the facilities provided were properly maintained to ensure sustainability of the investments.

President Kufuor advised the citizens and beneficiary communities to ensure the facilities were properly operated and maintained.

Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, the Minister of Works and Housing, said the fact that the boreholes were drilled by World Vision 10 years ago with European Union funding during the Togolese refugee crisis shows the need for collaboration between all development stakeholders.

He said the government has also provided 408 million cedis collaboration fund to German Development Cooperation (GTZ) completed water project for Ehi, Dzodze and Penyi also in the Ketu District.

Mr. Elemming Bjork Pedersen, Danish Ambassador, said the country's sanitation development in terms of places of convenience, currently at only 15 percent, has grave health implications for the country and called for redoubling of efforts in that area.

He called for the extension of surface water, which will cost about six point six million US dollars, from South Tongu to parts of North Tongu in the Volta Region and Dangme West and East Districts in the Greater Accra Region.

Mr Pederson said his country was prepared to assist with 2.5 million dollars and that Denmark will spend around 62 million dollars in the on-going fiver-year water and sanitation development programme in Ghana.

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