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Water they say, is life. This presents a case of how important water is in the life of all human beings and every human society. The need for water, and the demand for same, keeps increasing on daily basis as population rises.
As human activities began expanding, the need for clean water became more important. The activities of men, as part of their means to secure their daily bread, had given cause for activities that have resulted in the drying up of water bodies.
To some, the need to secure shelter dominates every other purpose. Trees are fell, mountains are broken into and converted into estates, among others. This has affected the environment so greatly that the need to find means to purify every water available for use, has become a very important issue.
This comes at a cost to governments and in some cases, private individuals who are engaged in water supply as their business. But, this require very conscious and consistent effort from government. As the largest caretaker of the state, the need to provide potable water to the larger population, cannot be treated short of seriousness.
Recently, we woke up to a statement from the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to the effect that Ghana would experience water rationing as a result of the prolonged dry season. I found it a bit curious.
Ghana experienced rains into the end of the year 2017. In no attempt to assume knowledge in the area of geology, I can tell, equally, that, if a government is elected into office, and for a whole year, no attempt is made to add a gallon of water to the stock it came to meet, we should be arriving in this very critical situation.
Let us analyze some records. Governments before today, have made efforts: some little, others, huge, to expand the treatment and supply of water. The figures may be boring, but, please, spend time to assess them and let us make a good argument and make the right calls.
In the year 2001, the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) inherited water coverage of 56% and 41% for Urban water coverage and Rural water coverage respectively. By close of the year 2008, they left behind water coverage of 58.5% and 56.5% for Urban water coverage and Rural water coverage respectively. From the figures, Ghana, for a period of eight (8) years, increased Urban water coverage by 2.5% and Rural water coverage by 15.5%.
Comparatively, Ghana, under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for a period of seven (7) years, between 2009 and 2015, increased Urban water coverage from 58.5% to 76% while Rural water coverage was increased from 56.5% to 76%. Here again, from the figures, the NDC increased Urban water coverage by 17.5% while Rural water coverage was increased by 19.5% by under the term of John Dramani Mahama as President.
The results remain that for a period of five years, US$1 billion worth of investment was made in the water sector. By close of the year 2014, a total of 77.5 million gallons of water per day was added to the national water stock. By close of 2016, based on the investments made, Ghana was expected to achieve 102.9 million gallons of water per day.
This was not achieved out of nowhere. It was done based on conscious efforts of projects initiated and completed. These projects include:
a). Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project. This project was completed and supplies 40 million gallons of water per day to some 700,000 inhabitants in communities such as Adenta, Madina, Kwabenya, Ashongman, North Legon, East Legon and West Legon, Ashaley Botwe, Haatso, Boi, Asofaa, Dome, University of Ghana, Valley View University, University of Professional Studies-Accra, Legon-Presec, Bawaleshie, Adjirigano and Pantang.
b). Kpong Intake Rehabilitation Project.
This project was carried out to improve efficiency by replacing all existing pumps. As part of the project, a-3.3 million gallons of water per day treatment plant was built to increase supply to the Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area (ATMA rurals). Communities that are benefiting from this project include Dodowa, Ningo, Prampram in the Greater Accra Region as well as the Akuapem Ridge in the Eastern Region.
c). Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area (ATMA Rural) Water Supply Project. This project was completed and is delivering 9.2 million gallons of water per day with the construction of new reservoirs at Adukrom, Dodowa, Atimpoku and Akorley. In addition, 92 kilometre transmission and distribution pipelines were laid to Ashaiman-Gbetsile, Ashaiman-Bethlehem, Adjei-Kojo, Ningo, Prampram, Krobo and the Akuapem Ridge area. The project has improve water supply to almost 70 communities in both the Greater Accra and the Eastern Regions. These include: Michel Camp, Afienya, Kpone, Prampram, Old Ningo, New Ningo, and Ayitepa, Kponguno, Omankope, Kodiabe, Doyumu, Agomeda, Adumanya, Menyum, Dodowa, Odese,Nganompian, Bawaleshie, Oyibi, Amanfro, Latehman, Ashiyie, Frafraha, Abominya, Abokobi, Pantang and Ayi Mensah (All in the Greater Accra Region). Other areas that are benefiting from this project include Akorley, Abonse, Aperade, Adukrom, Awukugua, Dawu, Abiriw, Akropong, Mamfe, Amanokrom, Tutu, Obosomase, Ahwerease, Aburi, Gyankama, Peduase, Kitase, Berekuso, Akwamufie, Mangoasi, New Senchi, Akrade, Senchi, Domeabra, Lolonyo, Agomanya, Manya Kponwono, Odumasi, Menekpo, Sra, Sawe and Ogome (all in the Eastern Region).
d) Teshie-Nungua Desalination WATER Project. The Teshie-Nungua Desalination Water Project, the first ever project of its kind in West Africa which has become subject for ridicule by the government of the day and its assigns, was completed and commissioned President John Dramani Mahama. It currently supply 13.2 million gallons of water per day to about 500,000 people in the following areas; Teshie, Nungua, the Teshie Military barracks, Batsoona, Sakumono and parts of La-Dadekotopon.
The efforts of government, were not only centered around the city of Accra. Several water projects were undertaken in rural areas in a manner never experienced in this country before. A total of 11.8 million gallons of water per day was added to the national stock by the Mahama administration through the following projects:
¬Nsawam Water Supply Project – 1.7 million gallons per day
¬Essakyir Water Supply Project – 1 million gallons per day
¬ Five Towns Water Supply Project (Kibi, Osenase, Anyinam, Apedwa and Kwabeng) – 1.5 million gallons per day
¬Kumasi Water Supply Project (Barekese Expansion) – 6 million gallons per day
¬Asante Mampong Water Supply Project -1.6 million gallons per day
Not only that, several other water projects which were expected to add a total of 25.4 million gallons of water per day to the national stock which were expected to be completed by end of 2016, are as follows:
¬Kwahu Ridge Water Supply project – 3.5 million gallons per day
¬Kumawu Water Supply Project – 3.6 million gallons per day
¬Konongo Water Supply Project – 3.5 million gallons per day
¬Akim-Oda-Akwatia-Winneba Supply Project – 10.4 million gallons per day
¬Wa Water Supply Project – 3.3 million gallons per day
¬North Tongu and Adaklu Anyigbe Water Supply Scheme – 1.1 million gallons per day
¬The US$ 170 million Urban Water Project to rehabilitate 20 water supply systems in 8 Regions
Other several peri-urban, rural, and small water sanitation projects which were undertaken by the Mahama administration to expand access of potable water to many of our citizens include:
¬Peri-urban, Rural and Small town water and sanitation project in the Brong Ahafo Region
¬Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project (SRWSP). This project covers the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Brong-Ahafo, Central and Western Regions.
¬Koica-Krachi East and West Water and Sanitation Project
¬Northern Region Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project
¬Government of Ghana 5-year 20,000 Borehole Programme.
¬Akrokeri Piped Water Supply Project
From the record above, Ghana could have succeeded in attaining universal access to potable water if all governments had moved with the speed and urgency we witnessed between 2009 and 2016.
For the past one year, since power was handed to the current administration, I am yet to read a record of the list of water projects initiated, even if not completed, to allay the fears of the millions of Ghanaians who are faced with the dangers of water rationing coming in the wake of Ghana’s escape from the grip of power rationing through conscious investments made in the energy sector by the John Dramani Mahama administration.
It is important to evaluate the effort of governments in the past as against what the government of the day is doing in the area of water since assuming power to enable citizens measure and ascertain who actually had/has the interest and progress of the people in the area of the provision of potable water.
Source: Stephen Kwabena Attuh, ASK