Acute water shortage hits Salaga
2010-01-25 21:03:59This article has been read 722 times.Reports reaching the Northern File indicate that the residents of Salaga, in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region, are badly hit by a severe water crisis due to the harmattan season, and the inability of successive governments to repair or expand the malfunctioning water pumping station serving the people.
The Salaga water problem has persisted for several years now, without any attempt by the authority or governments to address it.
As a result, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for East Gonja, Alhassan Mumuni, has called for the installation of new water pumping machines, or expansion work to be done on the water system in Salaga, to curtail the growing water crisis in the area.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Northern File during an inspection tour of the water station, the DCE said the Salaga water system, which was installed over a decade ago, had not seen any rehabilitation or expansion, in spite of an increase in the population of the district.
Meanwhile, other surrounding communities such as Kpembe, Nkwanta, Masaka, Kalande and Sisipe, among others, rely on the same water source from the Dakar River.
But, the machines that are supposed to pump water to supply the town can no longer serve their purpose.
What has compounded the suffering of the people is the fact that Salaga, and for that matter the East Gonja District, has an extremely low water table, which has therefore rendered all the boreholes constructed by the Assembly, and its development partners, useless.
Mumuni stressed that the water situation was affecting business activities, and posing a danger to the health of the people. School children are reportedly compelled to travel far distances in search of water from streams, before and after school.
He said the Assembly had spent, and keeps spending, millions of cedis in finding alternative sources of water for the people and other institutions in the district, but all to no avail.
The DCE therefore appealed to the government to prioritise the issue of water for the district to save the over 50,000 inhabitants from consuming guinea worm infested water, which he said, would be more costly than rehabilitating the damaged machines.
The Salaga Water Development Board Chairman, Amadu Abubakari Baba, told the Northern File that the current two minor pumping machines did not have the capacity to provide the requisite pressure to supply water to the entire Salaga town.
“The population of Salaga is growing, and so is the infrastructural development. So, therefore, we can not continue to rely on this weak pumping machine. It is not only weak, but also very low in capacity, and cannot meet the needs of the people.”
Meanwhile, the DCE for Salaga said his administration was taking interim measures to reduce the effect of the water crisis on the people, to boost business activities.
He asserted that addressing the water situation in the area was one of the major challenges militating against his office, but gave the assurance that radical measures would be taken to salvage the situation.
The DCE, who appealed to the suffering inhabitants to exercise restraint while maintenance works commence on the system, appealed to the government to play a leading role in ensuring that the people get the requisite supply of water.
He also appealed to the residents to always pay their water bills promptly, to ensure revenue for the regular maintenance of the equipment.