President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday cut the sod for the construction of the Tamale Water Supply Project, as part of his tour of the Northern Region.
The project seeks to expand the supply capacity of the Tamale Metropolitan area, as well as improve the flexibility of water supply.
The system which will rely on the White Volta has the capacity to treat 29.7 million gallons daily.
It is unclear when the project will be completed but the President said, “This will be, by far, the biggest water project in the five northern regions, and the second biggest in the history of our country,” the President said.
The turnkey project estimated to cost a little over $233 million is being funded by the UK Export Finance and the Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch,
Tamale’s water problems
Tamale like most cities in Ghana is faced with rapid population growth increasing demand for water, resulting in perennial water shortages.
Some communities on the fringes of the city have been battling with the situation for many years, compelling them to resort to the untreated water for domestic and commercial activities.
Dams that serve some of these communities are shared with animals, which defecate and urinate in them, exposing the residents to water-borne diseases.
But with the new project about to take off, communities including Cheshegu, Nanton, Yapei/Yipala, Chirifoyili, Nyankpala, Yepeligu, Dalun, Pong-Tamale, Yoggo, Gbullung, Sanerigu, Zagayull, Gurugu, Sankpala, Zangbulung, Jisonayili, Savelegu, Kusawgu, Kakpagayili, Tibung, Bagabaga, Kanvili, Tolon, Tamale Township, Kumbungu, and Vitin are expected to have potable water.
The President recounted how, in 1971, under the Progress Party Government of the late Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia, the Tamale Water Supply System, at Nawuni on the White Volta River, was constructed to serve Tamale and its environs.
The Kufuor administration also expanded Dalun Water Works, which included the construction of a 20,000 cubic metre storage reservoir at Kukuo Yepalsi. This intervention increased the production of the water treatment plant from 25,000 cubic metres per day to 40,000) cubic meters per day.
“I have recounted the history of water supply to Tamale in order to place in proper context the significance of the current intervention to meet the water demand for Tamale and its environs, looking at a planning horizon up to the year 2040,” the President explained,
The President said the government would construct a new water treatment plant at Yapei, thereby making available two water supply systems working concurrently to supply water to Tamale and its environs in order to guarantee the availability of enough potable water in the Metropolis.
“I am happy to state that, upon completion, the project will provide potable water to over seven hundred and ninety-two thousand (792,000) inhabitants of Tamale and its environs. This ties in with the Government’s agenda of ensuring that, by the year 2030, as enshrined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, all Ghanaians will have access to potable water, in other words, there will be ‘Water For All’”.
Water For All
Reiterating the government’s policy to ensure that all 16 regions of the country have access to water, he told residents of Tamale tat since he assumed in 2017, his administration had embarked on securing funding for the construction of water treatment plants, to increase access to water of the citizenry, and to create the enabling environment to attract local as well as foreign investors.
He also announced progress of funding sources for a number of projects across the country.
“I am happy to announce that Government has secured funding for the Upper East, Tamale, Damongo, Yendi, Wenchi, and Keta Water Supply Projects. The Upper East Water Supply Project, which began in 2018, is progressing steadily, whilst the sod cutting for the Damongo and Yendi projects will take place tomorrow, and those of Wenchi and Keta shortly,” he said.
Upon completion, these projects will serve a total population of 1.6 million people.
“In addition, the Government has also secured funding for the construction of the Sunyani Water Supply Project, Sekondi-Takoradi Water Supply Project, and Techiman Water Supply Project, all subject to the pending cabinet and parliamentary approvals.”
The government is going through the process of securing funding for the Tarkwa, Fanteakwa-Begoro, Hohoe, Assin Fosu, Kpong Phase II, and Dambai Water Supply Projects, as well as the Weija Dam Rehabilitation, and Barekese Dam Expansion Projects.
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