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12.09.2005 Business & Finance

Ghana, Belgium to undertake harbour project

GNA

Elmina (C/R), Sept. 12, GNA - The governments of Ghana and Belgium are undertaking a 82.8-million-Euros harbour project at Elmina in the Central Region.

The Elmina-Benya Lagoon and Fishing Harbour Restoration project would be carried out on short, medium and long-term phases. In the short term, the two governments are providing a total of 12.2 million Euros for the dredging of the Benya lagoon in Elmina, which would take off in November this year to provide more landing space for fishing activities in the area.

These came to light, when the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Works and Housing, led by its chairman, Mr Samuel Johnfiah, visited Elmina on Monday to acquaint itself with the project.

Briefing members of the Committee, the project manager, Mr Koen De Grave, said, as short and medium-term measures, the lagoon, which is heavily silted, would be dredged to deepen the entrance channel and harbour area and the breakwater "armour blocks" at the entrance of the port channel also removed.

He said in addition, the breakwater would also be repaired and extended to ensure the safe entrance of existing local fleet, as well as restore the former status of the lagoon.

According to Mr De Grave, the long term measure of the project, involved the construction of a new harbour, restoration of the quay wall, as well as control and redesigning of the town's storm water drainage system.

Mr Johnfiah explained that, the visit was part of the Committee's monitoring programme, to ensure that the government "fulfils its commitment on budget allocation on various development projects", and that monies voted for such projects were also properly utilized. He expressed the hope that, with the provision of the needed funds, the projects would start on schedule.

Earlier, members of the Committee had paid a courtesy call on the Central Regional Minister, Mr Isaac Edumadze at the residency, who commended them for visiting the region for the second time and asked them to ensure that a new fishing harbour was built at Elmina. Mr Daniel Obese, Regional Hydrological Engineer, had also briefed the Committee members on the projects at the residency and said his outfit was ready and was only waiting for parliament to approve the Ghana government's counterpart funding for the project, to start. The Committee is also scheduled to visit the Western Region to inspector work on the Shama Sea Defence project.

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