President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned the Upper East Region Water Supply System in Navrongo in the Kassena Nankana Municipality.
The new water treatment and supply plant is expected to improve water supply as it will deliver 4.5 million gallons of potable water a day to about 347,466 households in more than 40 major towns and communities.
Paga, Navrongo, Bolgatanga, Zuarungu, Bongo and their surrounding communities are some of the areas that will be served, with the project executed in two phases by Denys Engineers and Contractors BV.
The President said the project was structured into two phases with the aim of increasing the design horizon from 2030 to 2040 to make adequate provision for future generation.
Until this project, residents in and around Navrongo relied on boreholes as their source of water for domestic and other commercial activities, while others relied on untreated water from the Tono Irrigation Dam and other small and untreated water sources.
The €38 million project started in September 2018, funded with a loan from ING Bank of Belgium and the Dutch government through the ORIO funding, a Dutch official development aid for infrastructure financing.
The project involved the design and construction of a new 20,500 cubic metres per day treatment plant at Tono, up from the 7,200 cubic metres per day that the people used to depend on.
It also covered the construction of a new water intake facility at the Tono Reservoir, including a pumping station and raw water transmission pipeline.
Another component was the construction of 68 kilometres of transmission pipelines to transport treated water from the plant at Tono to the beneficiary communities.
Furthermore, a 71km of distribution network was constructed to transport water to consumers in Navrongo, Bolgatanga, Paga, Tono, Bongo, Zuarungu, Winkogo, Tindomologo and Gia.
Also, there was the construction of 600 cubic metres and 400 cubic metres new elevated water reservoirs at Navrongo and Zuarungu, respectively, as well as the rehabilitation of the existing Vea water treatment plant to bring the capacity to 5,000 cubic metres per day.
Similarly, there is the provision of new service subsidised connections to 4,800 people to ensure the inclusion of all customers.
First term project
Addressing the gathering Navrongo, President Akufo-Addo expressed gratitude that work on the project, which started in his first term of office, had been duly completed.
He said in January 2018, the government through the Ministry of Finance secured funding to the tune of €37.68 million, consisting of a €12 million grant from the Netherlands government and €25 million from the ING Bank of Netherlands to construct the project.
The President said the project was structured into two phases with the aim of increasing the design horizon from 2030 to 2040 to make adequate provisions for future generation.
He said the water project was in line with the government’s policy to construct more water projects to meet future population growth.
President Akufo-Addo said the execution of the project fell in line with the programme of the government to achieve Sustainable Development Goal Six, which is ensuring the availability of sustainable and equitable management of water and sanitation for all.
He said the government remained committed to creating an enabling environment through the provision of social infrastructure that would attract businesses.
“I expect that with the availability of potable water in this area, investors will take advantage of the One-District, One-Factory initiative to establish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to create employment for young people to stimulate the growth and development of the domestic economy.
The President said the government was working diligently to make funds available to improve water supply in all areas across the country.
“The objective is to ensure equity and improve the quality of life of all communities in the country,” President Akufo-Addo added.
He stated that work had started on the Keta, Wenchi and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Sanitation and Water Supply projects to increase access to potable water in those areas.
President Akufo-Addo added that by the end of the year, work would commence on the Sekondi-Takoradi Water Supply Expansion project, the Tamale-Yendi Water Supply project and the Damongo Water Supply project.
He further indicated that the processes had started for work to begin on the second phase of the Kpong Water Supply Expansion project to augment water supply to the people of the Greater Accra Region.
President Akufo-Addo urged the inhabitants of the beneficiary communities to help maintain the water infrastructure to continue to have access to water and religiously pay their bills as well.
He further thanked the Netherlands government for the considerable support towards the execution of the project as well as the contractors for completing the project ahead of schedule.
Improving water access
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecelia Abena Dapaah, said the project gave full credence to the determination of the government to improve access to potable water.
“It is in recognition of the ‘Water for all’ agenda of the government to provide water for all Ghanaians to improve their lives,” she said.
Ms Dapaah said the project would bring to an end the rampant system failure, burst pipes and high unaccounted for water issue of the area.
She expressed excitement that the project had carried out an extensive distribution network expansion and replacement as well as the provision of additional storage reservoirs.
No more rationing
The Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company (GWCL), Dr Clifford A. Bramah, said with the completion of the project, the water rationing and shortages in Bolgatanga, Navrongo, Zuarungu, Bongo, Paga and surrounding communities would be a thing of the past.
Until the new system, he said, GWCL operated a dual water supply system in the Bolgatanga Municipality involving surface water and groundwater (borehole) systems.
“The major source of water supply to the town is from the water treatment plant at Gowrie in the Bongo District. This system is supplemented by mechanised boreholes at Zuarungu and the Bolgatanga Secondary School that pump water into overhead tanks for distribution to residents of these areas,” Dr Braimah said.
The GWCL managing director said also included in the project was an institutional strengthening and technical assistance for the next two years of operations.
“It is made up of management assistance as well as staff training in various aspects of water supply management to improve capacity, and thereby ensure the long-term sustainability of water supply to the area,” Dr Braimah stated.
He appealed to the public to report faults, burst and leaky pipes to the company through its application (app)
for prompt response.
For his part, the Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, Jeroen Verheul, called for more collaboration between the Netherlands and Ghana for their mutual benefit.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, in a welcome address, said the project had come at the right time to solve the acute water supply challenges which faced major towns and communities in the region.
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