Cape Coast Oct. 8, GNA - The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman on Friday cut the sod for work to begin on the dredging of the Brimsu Dam, which serves Cape Coast and its environs. The Dutch government is providing two million dollars for the project, during which the dam will be dredged of an estimated 350,000 cubic metres of waste materials and silt to increase its storage capacity. The job is expected to be completed by December. In an address, Mr Owusu-Agyeman urged chiefs to join in educating the public to desist from farming along water bodies to help protect them from degradation and siltation resulting in water shortages in many communities, especially in the Central Region.
He said the Region was "fortunate when it comes to water supply", since a number of treatments plants including, those at Kwanyaku, Winneba and Baifikrom were being worked on to provide water, stressing that with their completion there would be no water shortage in the Region by 2025.
The Minister commended the Dutch government for funding about 55 percent of urban water project and other projects in the country. Mr Arie Van Der Wiel Dutch Ambassador to Ghana said the project was the start of a series of measures, which would be implemented in the coming years to improve water supply to Cape Coast and its surrounding areas.
He said the dredging of the Dam, formed the first phase of this objective and that the second phase, which was to cost 40 million Euros, would involve developing the intake of the Pra River as a second source, in order to eliminate the risk of water shortages in future. Mr Der Wiel said over the past five years, almost 150 million Euros had been invested in urban water supply schemes and that the Netherlands was the largest donor to Ghana in urban water supply, with negotiations underway for other urban water supply programmes under the ORET fund in Baifikrom, Tamale, Kumasi and Koforidua.
Mr Samuel Lamptey, Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), said the company would continue to implement its performance improvement measures in its core business area and that under its customer management programme the private sector was now actively involved in arrears reduction activities, whilst the banks and post offices served as sales points.
He said management had increased the number of mobile gangs to quickly respond to reports about burst pipelines and had also designed and implemented a rationing programme to ensure equitable distribution of water in major consuming and water deprived areas. Mr Lamptey urged the public to reciprocate these gestures by paying their bills promptly and also to report illegal connections and the degradation of the environment.
The Central Regional Minister Mr Isaac Edumadze, also commended the Dutch government for funding water projects in the Region and assured the contractors of the Regional Coordinating Council's support and advised communities around the catchment area to desist from farming along the banks of the Dam.
Mr Henk De Haan Head of the Dutch Marine and Maritime International, contractors on the project, announced that as its social responsibility towards the communities in the area the firm would construct a playing ground as well as provide library books worth 10 million cedis.