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03.06.2005 General News

Bolgatanga and Navrongo hit by water shortage


Vea (UER) June 3, GNA - The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) is rationing water for residents in the Bolgatanga Municipality and Navrongo District of the Upper East Region, due to defective water systems.

The major water plant at Vea is pumping only 600,000 gallons a day, instead of the maximum capacity of 1.2 million gallons a day, because only one of its four pumps is operational.

The people of Navrongo also receive 120,000 gallons of water a day, instead of the normal 700,000 gallons per day.

Mr George Yanore, Regional Engineer of the GWCL made this known to Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, Minister of Works and Housing at the Vea dam near Bolgatanga on Thursday.

He said poor rains in the region last year had left the dam at its lowest level in 20 years.

Mr Owusu-Agyeman is on an official tour of the region; expressed concern at the bare surroundings of the banks of the Vea Dam, which is the main source of for the area, saying it could lead cause siltation. The Minister visited a newly drilled borehole at Adaboya near Bongo, which was previously a guineaworm endemic area. He cautioned that if the people were asked to pay so much for the maintenance of the boreholes, it could lure them to drink from contaminated water sources.

Mr Opoku Tuffour, Regional Director of Community Water and Sanitation Agency, explained that the borehole was one of 70 being drilled in the region at the cost of 6.4 billion cedis, from the HIPC funds.

He said the beneficiary communities were usually encouraged to take charge of the maintenance cost in order to have a sense of responsibility and ownership towards the system. Mr Tuffour said there was the need to replace 52 boreholes in the Bongo area, which contained too much fluoride that could affect the teeth and bones.