Govt extends potable water coverage to over 1000 communities

Government through the Ministry of Sanitation has extended the coverage of potable water to over a thousand communities across the country. The project, targeted primarily at addressing the potable water demand and supply challenges in rural areas of the country was signed between the Government of Ghana under the erstwhile administration and China.

The $20 million projects awarded to Jiangxi Zhongmei Engineering Construction Company Limited will provide safe drinking water to rural communities and small villages in all the 10 regions.

A total of one thousand and twenty-nine boreholes were constructed over the three year period. Out of that, fifty-two were fitted with electric pumps, nine hundred and seventy-six fitted with hand pumps and the remaining with solar power at Asante Akyem North in the Ashanti Region.

An estimated number of five hundred thousand people or more are said to benefit from the entire project which consolidates efforts by government to ensure access to water for all and eliminate health complications that come with consumption of unwholesome water.

Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena-Dapaah told a gathering at the handing over ceremony in Densuso in the Eastern Region the project enables Ghana to push for the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6).

“All these and many others are part of the larger systems and structural reorganization of the WASH Sector aligned with new thinking required by the Sustainable Development Goal 6 which seeks to ensure sustainable management of water, sanitation, and hygiene for all by 2030,” she said.

According to her, “the government of President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo is committed to making that happen with the support of key stakeholders like the Chinese government.”

Abena-Dapaah revealed that progress towards meeting targets for the SDGs is undermined by the non-sustainable interventions in the sector. She said, “If services are falling into poor conditions as others are being constructed, the net growth towards reaching the targets slows down and good health and economic development negatively impacted.”

She wants beneficiary communities to contribute towards the sustainability of the water services that have been provided by helping government. Abena-Dapaah opined “whilst government is committed to living up to its social responsibilities to the people of Ghana, it expects the citizenry, especially domestic consumers to contribute their quota to ensure the protection and sustainability of investments in the water sector.”

China’s Ambassador to Ghana on his part said China and Ghana actively explore cooperation in sanitation infrastructure, water pollution control among other vital areas of national concern.

Shi Ting Wang added that China ranked first in Ghana’s investment projects with trade between the two countries fast rising. “In recent years, China-Ghana friendship has been continuously strengthened, and the corporation between the two countries has yielded fruitful results. Particularly, President Akufo Addo paid a State visit to China in September last year to participate in the Beijing Summit, pushing bilateral relations to a higher level,” he said.

The Ambassador added “Trade between our countries developed rapidly, from January to November 2018, the bilateral trade volume exceeded US$6.5 billion, of which Ghana’s exports to China reached US$2.18 billion, about 30% increase year-on-year basis”.

Mr Wang estimates that “this will exceed the annual trade volume of 7billion U.S. dollars and rank seventh in the whole of Africa”. In order to promote the smooth implementation of the initiatives, the Chinese Ambassador added that his government is “willing to provide 60 billion US dollars in support to Africa through government assistance, financial institutions and corporate investment and financing.”

He told the durbar to hand over the boreholes that China will focus on eight major initiatives of industrial promotion, facility connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health and hygiene, humanities exchange, and peace and security with African countries including Ghana in the next three years.

Source: Ghana/ Abdullah

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