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22.02.2005 Regional News

35 billion cedis for small town water supply in Upper West

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Wa, Feb. 22 GNA - Fifteen communities in he Upper West Region are to benefit from small-town pipe-borne water systems at a cost of 35 billion cedis under the second phase of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA).

Daffiama, Lawra, Nanadom, Jirapa, Gwollu and Tumu would have their existing systems rehabilitated and expanded, while Busa, Funsi, Charia, Kaleo, Nadowli, Ullo, Pinna, Babile and Sakai communities would be provided with new pipe-borne water systems.

The World Bank is funding the project while District Assemblies and the beneficiary communities would provide 10 per cent counterpart funding.

Mrs Belandina Batiir, Regional Director of the CWSA, made this known when she briefed newsmen on Tuesday after a two-member World Bank Team, which is in the Region to evaluate Phase One of the Project, called on the Regional Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery at his office at Wa, Led by Dr Amal Talbi, Water Supply and Resources Specialist of the Bank, based in Washington DC, the team also held discussions with the Jirapa/Lambussie and Wa Municipal Assemblies and visited selected communities within the jurisdiction of the two assemblies.

Mrs Batiir said out of 722 communities, which requested for boreholes in the Region, 586 were completed and fitted with hand pumps during the First Phase, which ended in December 2004, thus representing 81 per cent coverage, while 88 of them had been rolled over to 2005. She said a total of 45.4 billion cedis were spent on he drilling of boreholes, construction of household and institutional latrines and capacity building during the First Phase.

Mr Dery called on donor agencies to look for more innovative ways of getting communities to contribute to the cost of projects without necessarily demanding cash.

He said poverty in the Region in particularly was very pervasive and suggested that communities could be asked to contribute labour in lieu of cash payment.

Mr Dery said the problem of water was acute in the Region because of the long dry season and because the provision of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities were germane to the realisation of President john Agyekum Kufuor's vision adding that the government would facilitate and give support in that direction.

He called on the water and sanitation agencies to look at the problem of poor water supply and sanitation in Wa so that the regional capital never descended to become a big urban slum and a haven for epidemics.

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