A Chinese company has been selected to build a new plant at Kpong to augment water supply to the eastern parts of Accra by another 40 million gallons per day.
A delegation from the company is expected in the country by the end of the month to begin negotiations on the project dubbed “Kpong II”, which is estimated at more than $120 million.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Mr Samuel Gerald Odartei Lamptey, who disclosed this in Accra yesterday said the move formed part of the government's effort to resolve the perennial water problem in many parts of Accra.
He said the negotiations would begin with the technical proposals after which the financial proposals would also be considered to ensure that the country got value for money.
Presently, the treatment plant at Kpong supplies about 40 million gallons of water a day, which is far less than the demand of consumers.
The result is the shortage of water to many parts of eastern Accra namely, Adenta, Taifa, New Town and Ashongman, among others.
Within the past week a severe water crisis hit most of the eastern part of Accra as a result of a major electrical problem at the Kpong Head Works of the GWCL.
The gravity of the problem compelled the company to shut down its plant since Sunday, January 1, a situation which forced thousands of consumers, mainly women and children in areas such as Tema, Ashiaman, Teshie, Nungua, Nima, parts of Taifa and New Town to travel long distances in search of water.
Mr Lamptey said the project which was expected to take three years to complete would enhance the water supply situation considerably.
He said as part of the project, pipes would be laid from the plant to Oyibi to feed a huge reservoir to be constructed there.
From there, the Managing Director said, the water would flow by gravity to its other reservoir near the Ghana Standards Board headquarters in Accra before being pumped to areas within eastern Accra.
Mr Lamptey also mentioned plans by the government to find about $30 million to put up another plant near the Weija dam to increase the current supply from that plant by another 15 million gallons a day.
He said a number of investors had been contacted and “the prospects look brighter to find one to undertake the project”.
Mr Lamptey said the project would take 18 months to complete and expressed the hope that on completion, most of the water supply problems in the Accra metropolis and surrounding areas would be solved.
In the short term, he said, the company was drilling about 10 bore holes in different parts of eastern Accra including Taifa and other areas where ground water was not salty.
He said it was the hope of the company to find enough water and mechanise them wherever it would be drilled adding that “if the water quality is good and we find large quantities, we would pump the water into the main system for consumers.”
On the water shortage that hit the eastern parts of Accra since January 1, 2005, he said although the repair work was tedious, the engineers had managed to rectify the problem and water was flowing to consumers.
He expressed regret at the inconvenience the water problem caused many residents of Accra and nearby communities and gave the assurance that the situation was being carefully monitored to ensure that such problems did not recur.