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25.12.2005 Regional News

Government to solve water problem in Tamale

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Tamale, Dec. 25, GNA - Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Northern Regional Minister has said that the severe water shortage in the Tamale Metropolis had worsened, because successive governments had not taken the factor of population growth in the Metropolis into the planning process of water delivery to the community. He said as a result, the population growth had far outstripped the capacity of the Ghana Water Company to produce adequate water supply to the Metropolis.

Alhaji Boniface made these observations when addressing a meeting of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) at Tamale on Friday. He said contrary to public perception, the NPP government was committed to solving the Tamale Water problem once and for all, adding, "We are not interested in ad-hoc measures. We are sure that work towards a permanent solution to the water crisis will commence next year". The Regional Minister noted the problems facing the University for Development Studies (UDS) and the Tamale Teaching Hospital, which he said was built in 1974 and has so depreciated to the extent that, it would need proper planning and massive injection of funds to bring it to an acceptable standard. He announced that the basic agreements for the rehabilitation works on the hospital had been completed adding, "By the end of next year hopefully, the project would be completed".

Alhaji Boniface said the government was in the process of acquiring a 250-acre land on the Tamale-Yendi road to enable retired occupants of the low-cost houses to build their own houses, as they vacate their current accommodation. In pursuit of this initiative, he urged the directors of the Town and Country Planning Department, Lands Commission, Survey Department and the Metropolitan and District Assemblies to speed up the process of getting the necessary documents to enable the project to take off early in the region.

The Regional Minister expressed concern about the attempt by some District Chief Executives (DCEs) to interfere with the postings and transfers of civil servants to their districts, saying, some of them used all sorts of methods including the dangerous and unprecedented politicisation of the issue". Dr. Elias Sory, Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Services, briefing the meeting, said the region was now rated as one of the highly guinea worm endemic areas in the world. He, therefore, urged the assemblies to take the issue seriously and offer inputs into their budgets to address the situation.

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