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End in Sight to Tamale Water Problems

2006-02-14 13:25:44
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Water Shortage
In the last quarter of 2005, the issue of Tamale's perennial water problems took centre stage in Ghana's political "ugly noises" when two MPs from Tamale suggested that the residents of the metropolis were being "punished" because they did not vote for the NPP in the last elections. Passions were raised as accusations and counter accusations were traded in parliament. The NPP retorted to the "punishment" claim by pointing out that Tamale's water problems existed long before it came to power, and if anything at all, it was the NPP government that was making frantic efforts to source out funding to go to the root of the problem. Last Friday, the government got a step closer to solving Tamale's water problems when the Minister of Finance signed a grant agreement of 23.75million euros between the Ghana Government and the Dutch Government to part-finance the Tamale and Dalun Water Supply Project.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Accra, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu said the remaining 21.25 million euros of the total cost of the project, estimated at 45.00million euros is to be sourced as a commercial loan from the ING Bank also of the Netherlands.
Giving a brief history of the Tamale Water Supply Scheme, Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu said, "The scheme serves an estimated 570,000 people in five districts and more than twenty towns in the Northern Region. Demand for water in the catchment area of this water supply scheme has far outgrown its existing capacity to produce…Whilst the peak water demand is currently estimated at 53,000 cubic metres of water per day leaving a shortfall of 37,100 cubic metres per day".

He explained that the expansion project will include the construction of a water treatment plant at Dalun and a water storage compound at Kukuo Yepalsi.

"When completed, the project will have an installed capacity to produce 61,000 cubic metres of water per day, enough to meet the projected water demands of the Tamale area to 2020 and even beyond", he explained.

The Finance Minister who was full of praise for the Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands mentioned some of the projects the country currently being implemented with Dutch Government assistance as the Kwanyaku Water Supply Project, the Cape Coast Water Supply Project, the Sefwi-Wiawso-New Benchema Road Rehabilitation Project, the Supply and Installation of Modular Steel Bridges in Ghana and the supply of two Damen Stan Tug Boats to Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

"In addition to the Tamale and Baifikrom Water Projects, the Dutch Government has also supported projects like the Gushiegu District Hospital, the supply of dental facilities to 21 dental sites and the training of dental personal, the supply of 150 DAF Buses to the Mass Metro Mass Transit Company and the Odaw Drainage Extension Works."

Mr. Kwadwo Baah Wiredu also expressed Ghana's gratefulness to the Dutch Government on its decision to support the Government of Ghana in the implementation of the expanded phase of the NEPAD School Feeding Programme.

The Programme, according to the Finance Minister demonstrates the government's serious commitment to reducing the incidence of hunger and improving the nutritional and health status of school children as part of measures to promote access, retention and quality education throughout the country.

source: accra-mail

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