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Tamale Water Expansion Project Under Suspicion

2006-06-29 22:14:12
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The National Coalition Against Water Privatization (NCAP) and the Concerned Citizens Associations of Tamale (CCAT) have jointly expressed fears of fishy deals in the ¢585 trillion Tamale Water Expansion Project (TWEP) awarded by the government to an international construction firm, Bi-water, early this year.

Citing the failed SEGEA water project of 1998 by the then NDC government as one of the instances, the CCAT and the NCAP bemoaned that the Tamale water system had received several promises from successive governments which had all turned out to be empty rhetoric, hence the need to ensure transparency in the impending Bi-water project.

At a press conference here in Tamale, they disclosed that several calls and petitions had been sent to the government and for that matter, the Ministry of Works and Housing to make the contract documents known to the public and explain why the contract had not taken off since March this year, but to no avail.

The Contract agreement was signed between the Ghana government and the Messrs Bi-water at a tune of -45 million (¢585 trillion) for work to begin in March 2006. This facility is made of about -24 million from the Dutch government and a loan of -21 million from the ING Bank of the Royal Netherlands.

However, the CCAT and the NCAP members, who are apparently much concerned about the fast growing cases of Guinea Worm, Trachoma and Cholera and associated economic hardships among other waterborne diseases in the north, are now demanding that the government extends the coverage of the expansion works to enable most of the communities around the Tamale Metropolis benefit from the project.

Also taking into consideration the future water demands of the public and potential companies like Coca-Cola and Schweppes, who are yet to establish in the area and, build the capacity of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) engineers to take over the project after its completion.

They also lamented that the rhetoric of good governance and democracy comes to naught if it does not translate into the provision of basic amenities or facilities such as water.

The two concerned bodies, NCAP and CCAT therefore beseeched the government to specify the performance indicators for Bi-water and which body or agency that would supervise and monitor their operations They also accused the sector Minister, Mr.Hackman Owusu Agyeman of reneging his promise to provide the Tamale Metropolis with water tankers as a stop gap measure to alleviate the water problem facing the people.

Messrs Alhassan Basharu Daballi and Iddrisu A. Tanko, the President of the CCAT and Coordinator of NCAP respectively spearheaded the crusade of reminding the government of its promise to the people of Tamale.

When The Chronicle contacted the Northern Regional Chief Manager of GWCL, Mr. Hanock Davids Kwasi Bansah to ascertain whether or not the government had approved such a contract, he did not deny the fact that the -45 million contract had been awarded to Bi-Water by the Ghana government.

"I don't want talk about anything so whatever they have told you the pressmen you can go ahead and present it. When the Vice President came to Tamale he also announced it to the public so the contract is not a secret but because it's an official document we cannot give it out to any individual. So whoever wants it should rather contact the GWCL head office in Accra," he directed.

Meanwhile, the CCAT and the NCAP officials had hinted the press that Bi-water management had expressed no confidence in the Management Contract (GWCL).


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