President Akufo-Addo has commissioned the Upper East Region water project at Tono in the Navrongo municipality at a cost of €37 million.
The project, which began in 2018 with a grant from the government of the Netherlands, is expected to provide clean, safe drinking water to more than 4,800 households across the region and reach more than 350,000 people.
The €37 million support funding is made up of a €12 million grant from the Netherlands government and a €25 million facility from the ING Bank also in the Netherlands.
Speaking at the commissioning, President Akufo-Addo was hopeful the facility’s production capability of 4.5 million gallons of water a day, would address the region’s acute water problems.
He said the execution and completion of the project fall in line with the programme of his government to achieve the United Nations millennium development goal number six of ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water for all.
“Today is a very happy day for the people of the Upper East Region and indeed for the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Work started on this project in my first term of office and I’m grateful that the Almighty has given us good health and life for us to be able to gather here today to commission it.”
“You recall that in January 2018, the government through the Ministry of Finance secured funding to the tune of €37,683, 226 consisting of a €12 million grant from the Netherlands government and a €25 million facility from ING Bank also from the Netherlands to implement the Upper East Region Water supply project.”
“The Upper East Region Water supply project will supply the people of Bolgatanga, Navrongo, Paga and its environs with 200,500 cubic litres of water per day which is approximately four and half million gallons of water per day. A three-fold increase from the 1.5 million gallons a day currently available to the region. Apart from Bolgatanga, Navrongo and Paga, communities such as Zuarungu, Zaare, Sumburungu, Kalbeo, Gambibgo, Winkongo, Bongo, Yorogo, Pungu and Akunkungu are also set to benefit from the project. 347,346 people in total will be served with potable, safe water.”
“The execution and completion of the Upper East Region water supply project fall in line with the programme of the government to achieve a target set under the United Nations sustainable development goal number six of ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
President Akufo-Addo assured the support of his government to create an enabling environment through the provision of social infrastructure to attract investors to the region.
He, therefore, urged investors to take advantage of the availability of water to establish small and medium-scale enterprises in the region to create employment for the youth to stimulate growth.
“Government remains committed to creating an enabling environment through the provision of social infrastructure that will attract businesses to our communities.
“Accordingly, I expect that with the availability of potable water in this area, investors will take advantage of the government’s flagship programs such as the one-district, one-factory initiative to establish small and medium-scale enterprises to create employment for young people so as to stimulate the growth and development of the domestic economy.”
Meeting growing demand for water
The president said his government was working assiduously to improve access to clean, safe drinking water in other parts of the country.
To this end, the president said his government will provide funds to execute similar projects across the country.
“Government is working diligently to provide funds to improve the water supply situation in other parts of the country. The objective of ensuring equity and improved quality of life for all communities in the country. It is as worthy to mention that works have commenced on the Keta water supply extension project in the Volta region, the Wenchi water supply project in the Bono region and the greater Kumasi metropolitan area sanitation and water project in the Ashanti region.
“Works will commence by the end of the year on the Sekondi-Takoradi water supply extension project in the Western region, the Tamale and Yendi water supply project both in the Northern region and the Damango water supply project in the Savanna region.”
He added, “I must also indicate that processes have started to develop phase 2 on the Bulk water supply extension project which will augment the supply of water to the people of the Greater Accra region. The Fateakwa-Begoro water supply project in the Eastern region, the Tarkwa water supply project in the Western region, the Techiman water supply project in the Bono East region, the Assin Fosu water supply project in the Central region, the Western North water supply project, the Hohoe water supply project in the Volta region and the Kumasi water supply project in the Ashanti region are all in the pipeline to help respond to the growing demand for water.”
Maintenance of facility
The president urged inhabitants of the beneficiary communities of the Upper East Region Water project to ensure that the facility is maintained and kept in good shape to continue to serve clean, safe and potable water for the people now and in the future.
He said the maintenance of the water infrastructure will ensure the general well-being in the health of all the respective communities.
He also urged the inhabitants to pay their bills on time to ensure the operation of the facility.
“I will continue to urge inhabitants of the beneficiary communities in the Upper East Region to help to maintain the water infrastructure so we can continue to have access to potable water and through that ensure the general well-being in the health of the communities.”
“And maintaining the infrastructure means also paying your bills on time.”