Togboloku (GAR), March 25, GNA- Captain (Rtd) Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development on Thursday commissioned a 2.6 billion-cedi water supply project for 11 communities in the Damgbe East District at Togboloku.
The project was jointly undertaken by the Community Water Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Damgbe East District Assembly and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL)with assistance from the Danish Development Agency (DANIDA).
The communities contributed 38 million cedis towards the project, which commenced in 1998.
Some of the beneficiary communities are, Korlekope, Dogo, Beleku, Wasakuse-Wayo and Manorayikpo. Capt.(Rtd) Effah-Dartey commended the Danish government for financing the project.
He said there were 158 communities in the District, which needed assistance but the Government alone, could not bear the cost in the provision of potable water to al of them.
The Deputy Minister asked them to initiate their own development projects that would attract the Government's attention for support. He asked the beneficiary communities to manage and protect the project and effectively to ensure regular water supply always.
Capt. (Rtd) Effah-Dartey urged the people to pay their taxes regularly to enable the Government to provide them with the basic needs of life. Mr Kofi Plahar, Damgbe East District Chief Executive, said water and sanitation around the Songhor area was very poor but both humans and animals use the same water sources, ponds, dams and streams. He said due to the deplorable situation water-borne diseases were prevalent in the area.
"The supply of potable water and sanitation in the district is woefully inadequate and statistics show that only 32 per cent and 21 per cent of the people have access to potable water and good sanitation", he said. He commended the CWSA and other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) for assisting some communities with potable water.
Mr Plahar announced that the assembly, in consultation with other stakeholders had prepared a four-year district Water and Sanitation Plan to increase access to potable water from 32 per cent to 70 per cent by 2008.
Under the plan, 233 stand pipes and 15 hand-dug wells fitted with hand pumps are to be connected for more than 60 communities, while sanitation facilities would be stepped up from 21 per cent to 58 per cent.
The District Chief Executive, warned members of the Water and Sanitation Committees that the era for embezzling funds and abandoning projects were over, since the Assembly would not protect offenders but hand them over to the courts for prosecution.
Mrs Safiratu Andani, Water Supply Engineer of DANIDA said there were other communities in the district without access to potable water, because it was not possible to serve them due to unfavourable soil conditions.
Mrs Andani said as part of its commitment to provide potable water, the CWSA had designed a water supply scheme based on the Volta River basin to cover Damgbe West, East and North Tongu districts.
The scheme, estimated at 5.6 billion cedis would serve 94,436 people out of which 50,787 would be from Damgbe East District and plans were far advanced between the Government and development partners on the funding of the project.
Nene Teye Akwadah II, chief of Togbloku on behalf of the communities thanked the Government and donors for the project and appealed to the Government for an extension of electricity to the area.