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28.08.2005 Regional News

Tamale residents want old wells mechanised

Tamale residents want old wells mechanised
LISTEN AUG 28, 2005

Tamale, Aug. 28, GNA - Some residents of Tamale have made a passionate appeal to the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly, water-related NGOs and donors to rehabilitate and mechanise all the old wells to help reduce the perennial water shortage in the Metropolis.

Mrs Saratu Issah, Assembly Member for the "ADB" Electoral Area in Tamale, who made the appeal on behalf of the other residents, said some of the wells were still in use but they needed to be rehabilitated and mechanised to make them more efficient.

She said, if these were done, the wells would augment the current water supply system in the Metropolis and enhance economic activities in the area.

Madam Issah was interacting with journalists from Accra and Tamale during a "Press Tour" of water projects executed by NewEnergy, a local NGO and funded by Water Aid Ghana, an international NGO in Tamale on Friday.

The tour was to draw the attention of the journalists to the challenges facing the water sector and the Water Aid and NewEnergy interventions, as examples of strategies and activities that could be adopted to address some of the challenges.

The Assembly Member called for more mechanised small town water systems, as a short time measure to increase water supply in the Metropolis, while efforts should be made to find a lasting solution to the water problem in Tamale.

Mrs Issah said the availability of water in the Metropolis would not only improve the health and social life of the people but would also enhance their economic activities to enable them to contribute to the growth of the national economy.

Water Aid Ghana and NewEnergy organised the tour for the journalists to explore the potentials of the media, as partners in advocacy for the water and sanitation sectors.

The journalists visited two of the four old wells sites in the Metropolis that NewEnergy had reconstructed and mechanised under the Small Town Water System Programme for the residents, as they impact positively on the lives of the people.

Miss Latifa Brajoe, a resident, who fetches water from of one of the mechanised wells near the offices of the Ghana Post, said a basin of water cost only 200 cedis, which she described as "affordable" for the women and cooked food sellers, who now save some money and energy, as they no longer go round to look for water from unsafe sources. She noted, however that, because of inadequate small town water systems in the Metropolis, there was always overcrowding at the water points, resulting in quarrel, especially among the women.

Mr Thomas Sayibu Imoro, Programme Manager of NewEnergy briefed journalists on the activities of his organisation and said NewEnergy was operating in six districts in the Northern Region. He said NewEnergy was also in partnership with the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly in the provision of water under the Urban Water and Sanitation Programme.

He said WaterAid Ghana was providing financial support to NewEnergy in its operations in the water and sanitation sectors.

Mr Imoro bemoaned however that, many communities in the region were still without potable water, a situation that had manifested in the resurgence of the guinea worm and other water borne diseases in the region.

He said the Ghana Water Company was able to provide only 60 per cent of the water supply requirement of the residents, adding that, his NGO was making every effort to help fill in the gap.

Mr Imoro said NewEnergy would establish water boards to run the water systems it had provided to the residents to make them sustainable and affordable, while efforts were being made to build the capacity of the board members to run the systems effectively.

Mr Osman Sahanoon, Research and Development Officer of NewEnergy, said each of the wells yields 65,000 litres of water daily to serve about 54,000 people in the communities.

He said the intermittent power outages in the Metropolis had been a hindrance to the supply of water from the wells.