Demand for urban water outstrips supply – Minister

Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minster of Water Resources, Works and Housing, on Thursday noted that the demand for water in the urban areas has outstripped supply.

This is as a result of uncontrolled human settlement, encroachment on head works and vandalising of water assets.

Taking his turn at the meet the press series in Accra, he said most of the water infrastructure in the country is more than 40 years and designed for population far less than the current figures.

“For example the Kpong Water system was designed in 1965 to serve about 500,000 living in Accra and Tema. No major rehabilitation was carried out on the facility until the early 1970s and 90s, “he said.

Mr Mensah said in recent years government had undertaken a number of projects to improve delivery of safe and affordable water to the urban areas.

He said from 2009 to date, government had secured a combination of loans and grants in the sum of $1.4 billion and also contributed an amount of GH¢6.4 million from the national budget to ensure that the supply gap is effectively managed within a planning horizon of 2025.

He said the Kpong water supply expansion project, which would serve Dodowa, Adenta, Madina, Kwabenya Ashongman, North East and West Legon, Ashaley Botwe and its environs in the Greater Accra Region is being carried out at the cost of $273 million with funding from government and the China Exim Bank.

The Accra Tema Metropolitan Area rural water supply project, will inject an additional production of 9.24 million gallons of water per day whilst 84.33km of transmission pipelines will be laid.

Water reservoirs will also be constructed at Adukrom, Dodowa Atimpoku and Akorley whilst two additional clarifiers are under construction   to beef up the four available at the Weija Treatment Plant.

The treatment plant which has its intake from the Densu River has been boosted with some major additional facilities to enhance its performance and is expected to pump a total of 54 million gallons daily to targeted areas.

“In view of the current water supply challenges facing Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area, which includes communities along the road from Tantra Hill to Nsawam, the expansion and rehabilitation of the water supply project will release excess capacity which will improve water supply to other parts of Accra.

“The project will build a new treatment plant with a capacity of 1.7 million gallons per day and rehabilitate the existing 792,000 capacity treatment plant to its installed capacity. This will include laying of new transmission pipeline with a 3.5km primary distribution extension.

“This project is expected to be completed by October, 2013 and it is at a cost of $14 million.”

The Akwatia Water Supply Project will provide a new treatment plant to supply two million gallons of water per day at a cost of $62 million.

Mr Mensah said the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project is being funded by the IDA/World Bank, with an amount of $75 million for five year period spanning 2010-2015.

The project is targeting the improvement of access to water and sanitation for 600,000 people in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Brong Ahafo, Central and Western Regions.

The expected output of the project are is the construction of  1,200 bore holes, rehabilitation of 400 old bore holes  in Northern Region and provision of 40 limited mechanised water facilities and    small town systems.

Touching on Peri-Urban, Rural and Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project in the Brong Ahafo Region, he explained that the 2008-2012 potable water supply and sanitation project aims at improving access to sustainable water and sanitation services for 300,000 people in the 22 Districts at the cost of €18.6 million secured from Agence Française de Developpement comprising €17 million credit and€1.6 million grant.

The Water and Sanitation Project under the Local Services Delivery and Governance Programme will target Volta, Northern, Eastern, Central and Greater Accra Regions.

The main objective of the project is to improve access to water and sanitation services and support capacity building for about 264,000 people and 100 institutions.

Another project named the COCOBOD Borehole Project would drill 3,000 solar powered hand pump boreholes in specific regions in the country and will be designed and implemented in three phases over a period of three years.

Mr Mensah said hand pump installation is on-going in all regions and so far a total of 1020 of the drilled 1,120 boreholes have been fitted with solar operated hand pumps.

It is expected that COCOBOD will provide additional funds in 2013 for the next batch of boreholes.

Source: GNA

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