- Concerned citizens embark on demo The Minister of Works and Housing, Hackman Owusu Agyemang is under intense public attack in the Tamale metropolis for reneging on his promise to arrest the protracted water problem facing the people in the city for an estimated six weeks. Meanwhile, the blame or the attack did not end at the doorstep of Mr. Hackman and his Ministry, but has been extended to President Kufuor in person and his NPP government.
There were speculations in the Tamale metropolis to the effect that the NPP government was aware that, “water is life and an essential commodity” but was pursuing a “tit for tat” policy, to avenge the humiliating defeats it suffered in the North during the 2004 elections.
Again, the alleged political ambition of Mr. Owusu Agyemang to lead the NPP in 2008 to succeed President Kufuor has also been questioned. According to the people, they were waiting to see whether or not he would campaign in the Tamale metropolis, where strong and bare teeth await him.
Other Tamale residents claimed not to be surprised at 'the disappointment' because, according to them, Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyemang is a typical African politician.
Meanwhile, some groups and individual in the metropolis, including the Tamale Concerned Citizens Association, have registered their discontentment and dissatisfaction with Mr. Owusu Agyemang and his ministry's apathy towards their plight, by embarking on a series of peaceful demonstrations, aimed at refreshing the “busy mind” of the minister.
This promise, which expired four months ago, was made during the minister's first working visit to the Nawuni Water Intake Station at Dalun, which supplies drinking water to the inhabitants of the Tamale Township and its environs.
It would be recalled that, Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyemang, during a visit to the station, vehemently pledged that, he would personally prevail on the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to, before even undertaking full-scale rehabilitation and expansion works at the Tamale Water Station in Dalun, release $250,000 (US Dollars) for the purchase of a new water pump machine to replace one of the damaged ones.
A six-month ultimatum was therefore imposed on the GWCL by the Minister for its implementation to ease the water crisis facing the people, which had also compelled several investors to resist establishing their businesses in the metropolis.
According to the Minister, the NPP government could no longer wait to see the entire inhabitants of Tamale being deprived or denied their fair share of the services of the Ghana Water Company.
Mr. Owusu Agyeman dropped this hint when it was announced to him that the GWCL needed only $250,000 for the purchase of new water pump machine to replace one of the broken pumps that were installed way back 1930.
The Minister who implored the GWCL officials to call on his ministry for any assistance in the course of fulfilling that obligation, stressed that, the NPP government which has the plight of the people at heart, would not be economical in that regard.
He had said that the NPP government would not allow the people of Tamale to suffer because of $250,000. “By the end of June, you must be able to supply additional 4.0 million gallons of water to the existing 4.3 million gallons,” he had urged GWCL.
The Chronicle investigations have revealed that the three- water pumps, which were installed in 1930 at the water station in Dalun, were to supply water for a maximum number of 74,000 people only.
Though the population of Tamale has, since 1930, increased to over 300,000, which therefore demands over 12 million gallons of drinking water everyday to adequately secure the lives of the people, the population is still dependent on only 4.3 million gallons daily.
This paper gathered also that the communities in the Tamale metropolis do not get access to continuous flow of pipe water until every one week and sometimes more than a week. This has therefore amounted to the fact that, a bucketful of pipe water is now selling at ¢500.00, while a sachet of water is selling at ¢400.00.
Our information remains that most investors who have shown interest in establishing firms in the metropolis to reduce the burden of unemployment are now shying away from the area, due to this peculiar water problem.
The president of the Concerned Citizens Association of Tamale (CCAT), Mr. Basheru Alhassan Daballi, in a petition to the President, appealed to the government to assume its responsibility of managing and securing water for individuals and organizations across the country, particularly in the north.
However, the good people of the Tamale metropolis are also advised to wisely use the water available for their own sustainability.