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01.12.2005 General News

Kintampo water system in precarious situation

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Kintampo (B/A), Dec. 1, GNA - In the face of any major breakdown in the water supply system, the people of Kintampo could be without water for a long time for lack of funds.

Mr Franklin Kwesi Fei, Board Chairman of the Kintampo Water Supply Committee, who gave the warning said the system's managers had no money now to fix a major problem because of the inability of Government institutions in the District to meet their indebtedness.

Government institutions collectively owed the water supply system, managed by the town, about 500 million cedis. The last time the agencies made any payment was in June 2004 when 400 million cedis were paid. "The management is always praying that no major fault occurs because if it does there would be no money to rectify the problem. For now we are only able to repair small faults," Mr Fei told a group of journalists on a trip to the Kintampo North District.

The trip was facilitated by the German Development Cooperation to provide first-hand information on how Ghanaian partners are assisted in their poverty reduction efforts and in implementing central aspects of the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy II, especially in areas of agriculture, employment-oriented private sector development and decentralisation/good governance.

The water supply system was financed by KFW Development Bank, the financial cooperation arm of the German Government, at the cost of eight billion cedis and inaugurated in 2001.

Mr Fei said lack of funds was also stalling expansion efforts that would enable the rest of the community to have standpipes. Currently, about 19,600 people out of the 28,000 are connected to the water supply system.

"The Management has set the end of next year to increase the coverage to the rest of the people but if the payment trends continue this way and the funds are locked up we cannot reach our target," the Board Chairman said.

Mr Fei said the Board had engaged the services of a prosecutor to help to bring defaulters to court to enable them to retrieve monies owed to them.

As a long-term measure, consideration is also being given to the installation of prepaid metres, especially in Government institutions, to boost revenue generation and forestall the problem of non-payment. Mr Fei noted that high iron content was also affecting the water quality saying to this end work on 1.4 billion-cedi iron removing plant had been completed to help to improve the water quality.

Mr Fei expressed gratitude to the German Government for the assistance and pledged the Board's continued effort to ensure that the system was well maintained to meet future demands.

Mr Joachim Schmitt, Counsellor of Development Cooperation at the German Embassy, said the development interventions were targeted at ensuring the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

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