Agona Kwanyako (C/R) 21 Nov. GNA- The Minister of Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, on Saturday announced that the Netherlands government had decided to adopt the Central Region and would invest in the development of water supply due to its historical importance and attachment to the Netherlands.
In this regard, a master plan for water supply has been prepared to guide it, in making decisions to sustain its investment in the water sector.
Alhaji Iddris announced this at the sod-cutting ceremony for the rehabilitation and capacity expansion of the Kwanyaku water supply system in the Central Region at Agona Kwanyaku.
The project, estimated at 24,160,000 Euros is being funded by the Dutch government's mixed credit facility under the Development Relevant Export Transactions (ORET) programme , which, consists of a grant of 35 per cent of the contract price and 65 per cent contribution by the government of Ghana.
The project, which would take 30 months to complete, would include replacement of electro-mechanical equipment, repair on the dam structure, dredging of silt in Kwanyaku impoundment, laying of 10 kilometre trunk pipelines, replacement of 11 km of distribution pipelines, as well as the rehabilitation and refurbishment works of pumps, voltage stabilizers, dosing plant and clear water storage tank.
The Minister said the rehabilitation would boost the current capacity of 12,440 m3 to 14,000 m3 a day whiles the expansion would include the construction of a water treatment plant with a capacity of 21,000m3 per day and supply water to five districts made up of Agona, Awutu Efutu, Senya, Gomoa, Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam and the Mfantseman. Alhaji Iddris commended the Dutch government for its immense contribution to the development of urban water sector in Ghana and hinted that it (the Dutch government) has invested over 100 million Euros in various water supply projects in the country since 1998. He mentioned the contract, at the Weija treatment plant for the western parts of Accra, the Winneba water supply replacement and augmentation projects and the Sekondi-Takoradi water supply rehabilitation projects as some of the projects funded by the Dutch government.
The Minister underscored the importance of clean and safe drinking water to the socio-economic development of mankind and said the ministry was in the concluding stages in the formation of a national water policy, which, would serve as a blueprint for water supply delivery throughout the country.
Alhaji Iddris said the commencement of the project gives credence to the determination of the government to improve the quality of life of the people and urged the contractors to consider the employment of local personnel to work on the project during the contract period.
He stressed the need to increase the sizes and spread of the primary distribution pipelines to effectively distribute the water and appealed to the Dutch government to consider funding the 'distribution improvement', which could serve as a second phase of the project.
Mr Mar Van der Gaag, Counsellor and head of Development Cooperation, of the Royal Netherlands Embassy said under the ORET , Ghana has benefited from grants of up to a total of 500 million Euros.
He mentioned water supply projects for Cape Coast and Tamale, upgrading of clinics in six districts, installation of ten dental units and a dental training facility as well as the reconstruction of the Sewfi-Wiaso-Benkeyma junction road, as some of the ORET projects currently in the pipeline.
Mr Samuel Lamptey, Managing Director of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) said the Kwanyaku water supply system constructed in the late 1960s consisted mainly of a dam and a 14000m3 day water treatment plant and a wide distribution network and that it was one of the largest district water supply schemes serving five districts in the region. He appreciated some of the frustrations customers have faced over the years due to the irregularity of water supply and entreated the public to be supportive of their cause and understand the difficult conditions under which they operate.
He pledged the support of the staff of GWCL to ensure the successful completion of the project.
Nana Ampem Darko, Chief of Kwanyaku, who presided commended the government for the gesture and appealed to the contractor to utilise the manpower of the youth in the area.