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12.07.2005 General News

GWCL to tackle Cape Coast water problem


Cape Coast, July 12, GNA - The government of the Netherlands is to assist the government of Ghana with an amount of 41 million Euros to improve water supply for Cape Coast and surrounding towns.

The project would ensure a more reliable and increased capacity of water supply in Cape Coast, Komenda and Elmina.

This was disclosed to newsmen by Mr Kwaku Dovlo, Central Regional Chief Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited when a delegation of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing visited the Brimsu Dam in Cape Coast to ascertain the current condition of the dam after the recent flood in the Cape Coast Municipality.

Mr Dovlo said the turn-key project is intended to cover the development of an intake on the Pra River as a second source in order to eliminate the risks of water shortages during the dry season. It would cover the construction of a new water treatment plant with a capacity of 30,000 M3 per day, construction of clear water pumping station and the laying of steel water transport mains and the construction of a new reservoir and a booster.

It would also involve the rehabilitation of Brimsu Head Works and the laying of water distribution system of approximately 78,000 metres. He said the recent heavy rains of July 4 and 5, this year, severely flooded the Brimsu Dam and other intake facilities.

Mr Dovlo said the flood damaged a valve, resulting in a blockade of the main raw water pipeline.

"As a result, water production ceased for about three days until divers were hired to remove the blockade."

"However, currently we are producing at normal capacity of three and a half million gallons daily."

He said another two million Euros have been acquired from the Dutch government to dredge the Brimsu Dam.

Mr Dovlo said the main constraint at the existing water supply system is the storage of raw water, particularly during the dry season as well as the decline in water flows into the dam in recent years.

"The current reservoir storage is also inadequate to sustain the yield required to meet the water demand."

He said government is undertaking a major rehabilitation and expansion of water supply system all over the country and would include the Kwanyaku water supply system, which is expected to serve Agona, Gomoa, Mfantsiman, Ajumako-Enyan and Awutu-Senya.

Mr Dovlo said the perennial water shortage in Cape Coast might still persist until the project is completed. "It is expected that a reliable water supply situation would benefit the numerous second and third cycle institutions, the local population in the supply area and the potential tourism industry based in around Cape Coast."

Mr. Samuel Johnfia, MP for Ahanta West and the Chairman of the Committee on Works and Housing said the visit to the dam site was to know the progress of work and how the GWCL was coping with the water problem in the Cape Coast Municipal area.

The Brimsu Dam was constructed in 1928 and is currently heavily silted due to farming activities along the banks of the river as well as the catchment area, which has not been dredged ever since.

This has resulted in loss of storage volume leading to inadequate water supply to the Cape Coast and its environs, especially in the dry season.