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10.03.2006 Regional News

Kumasi water supply systems to be rehabilitated and expanded

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Barekese (Ash), March 10, GNA - The Dutch government and the government of Ghana will soon sign an agreement for the commencement of rehabilitation and expansion works of the Kumasi water supply systems. The project estimated at about 50 million dollars, will involve the rehabilitation and expansion of the existing plants at the Barekese and Owabi head-works as well as the construction of additional 90-kilometre distribution lines in Kumasi and its environs.

Mr. Arie Van der Wiel, Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, who made this known said the project would be financed under the ORET grant of the Dutch government and loans which would be contracted by the Ghana government from some commercial banks in the Netherlands. He was speaking to newsmen after a working visit to the Barekese head-works, near Kumasi on Friday.

The Ambassador was accompanied by Madam Patricia Appiagyei, KMA Chief Executive and Professor (Mrs) Esi Awuah of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.

The visit was to enable him to acquaint himself with the operations at the head-works, which supplied water to residents of Kumasi and its environs.

He said the process of sourcing the funds was almost completed and an agreement for the release of the grant would be signed by the end of the first half of the year to pave the way for the project to begin. Mr. Van der Wiel attributed some of the problems facing water supply in the country to management issues and said a new management contract would soon be signed with the Ghana Water Company to improve water management systems in the country.

He said the people should be told to understand that water was not a free commodity as was being perceived by some people, adding that, there was the need for people to prepare to pay for water they enjoyed.

Madam Patricia Appiagyei on her part called on the residents to learn how to use water judiciously to avoid wastage. She appealed to the media to educate the public on the need to protect water bodies at al times.

Madam Appiagyei thanked the Dutch government for the assistance to improve water supply systems in the Kumasi metropolis. Professor Esi Awuah called for proper planning in the Kumasi metropolis in order not to pollute streamlets that fed streams, which supplied water to the Barekese dam.