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08.03.2006 General News

One trillion invested in rural water supply

By GNA

Accra, March 08, GNA - Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, on Wednesday said government had since last year, invested half a billion cedis in improving urban water supply and one trillion cedis in that of rural water.

The minister, who was answering questions in parliament, said the purpose of the re-designation of his ministry to include water resources was to "send a signal to our development partners of our readiness, to focus, act and play our role in the global effort to provide the needed support to a comprehensive water sector."

Mr Owusu-Agyemang was responding to a question from Mr John Ndebugre, PNC-Zebilla, who wanted to find out what the implications of the re-designation of Ministry to the Ministry Water Resources, Works and Housing have for the nation's economy.

The Minister said there was no cost involved in the re-designation adding, "All letterheads within the period preceding the change were computer generated. .....I am happy to note, Rt Hon. Speaker, that the change in name has rather put Ghana on the global water map."

He said people who wanted to contact the ministry responsible for water could not immediately know what to do but "now water resources has been given visibility and added focus."

"Rt Hon. Speaker, the re-designated name gives water the prominence it deserves in the present global scheme of things," the Minister added. In response to another question on how to improve water supply in the Wa Municipality, Mr Owusu-Agyemang said in the short term, there was an approved programme to redevelop three of the exiting boreholes in Wa to increase the daily water production to about 616,000 gallons per day. "Minor improvement and extension of the distribution pipelines are also being undertaken at the Wa Airstrip, Wa Konta, Wa Secondary School and the Wa Abatoir to improve supply and reduce leakages."

"These interventions, which are to start in April this year, are being undertaken with internally generated funds of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) at a total cost of 952,118,000.00 cedis." He said in the long term, 3,300,000 gallons per day surface water treatment plant, estimated to cost 35 million dollars, is to be developed to meet the water demand in Wa through the year 2020. The Minister also took a question from Mr Francis Agbotse, NDC- Ho West, on when the second phase of the Ho-Kpeve Water works, which would cover communities such as Sokode-Abutia and Bame-Dededo in the Volta Region would commence.

Mr Owusu-Agyemang said proposals for the extension of water supply to cover these areas were already available.

He said GWCL was sourcing for funding from government, private and other interested developers for the implementation of the project. According to the Minister, the project would cost about five million dollars but the Ministry was yet to identify the sources of funding for the project to begin.

In response to another question on whether the rehabilitation works on the Kwanyako Water Treatment plant in the Central Region would extend water to the numerous settlement around the area, the minister said villages outside the distribution coverage cannot be connected because of the limitation in water source as the same river was being used for the Winneba water supply.

"Interventions to provide potable water to such communities could be made by the Community water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA). We have so instructed the CWSA to look into this option," he added.

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