…But Will Residents Stop Defecating In The Sea?
The President, John Dramani Mahama, will on Friday, February 20, 2015, symbolically turn the valves to start pumping some 30 million gallons of treated sea water daily to homes within the Teshie-Nungua catchment areas.
This is possible, because of the completion of the Teshie-Nungua Desalination Water Project started in October 2012.
The project implemented on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) mechanism, would serve about 500,000 people in Teshie, Nungua, the Teshie Military Barracks, Baatsonaa, Sakumono and parts of La-Dadekotopon.
It will be managed for 25-years, before it would transfer to Ghana Water Company (GWC). However, questions are being asked as to whether people living around the coastal areas, will still defecate in the very water, which will end up in their homes as drinking and cooking water.
Ghana, has one of the polluted beaches in the world, especially beaches in Greater Accra, the beaches serve as a toilet facility, and refuse dump for many residents.
Already, Teshie-Nungua residents in these communities, are already enjoying potable water from the project and the president’s visit to the facility, will only seek to announce to the greater populace that another feat has been achieved after many years without water running through already laid pipes.
The project, first of its kind in the country, will seek to end the perennial water problem in the above mentioned areas, this is coming less than two months, after the president commissioned yet another laudable water project, Kpone Water Treatment Plant.
The 20-million-gallon Kpone Water Treatment Plant, is giving residents at Adenta, Madina, Haasto, Ashongman, Nii Boi Town, Ashaley Botwe, East Legon, Dodowa and Dome clean water, decades after suffering a complete cut-off in water supply.
The Teshie-Nungua Desalination Water facility is owned by Befesa from Spain, and executed by the Abeima Tayma Infrastructure Ghana Limited. Though it is built to provide 60 million gallons a day, presently it gives out only 30million gallons.
Test running according to The Herald’s sources, started on February 2, 2015, while normal production commenced on Monday, February 9, 2015.
In November 2012, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group, announced supporting an investment to supply 60,000 cubic metres of potable water per day to Teshie-Nungua.
Ahead of the start of the project, Izumi Kobayashi, MIGAs Executive Vice-President, had said that increased water supply, is urgently needed in the project area and many residents lack access to safe drinking water.
“We are very pleased to be supporting this investment that will supply water to Accra’s residents and provide technical know-how in seawater treatment to build capacity in the country,” he stated.
MIGAs investment guarantees of US$179.2 million are covering an equity investment and shareholder loan by Abengoa Group, an equity investment and shareholder loan by Daye Water Investment (Ghana), BV of the Netherlands; and a non-shareholder loan and interest-rate swap by Standard Bank of South Africa, Ltd.
The coverage is against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, breach of contract, and war and civil disturbance. The project is expected to help bring Ghana a step closer toward its Millennium Development Goal target for water.
Ghana is only one of four in sub-Saharan Africa on track to meet the goal, but significant investment is required over the next 10 years to help Ghana meet the rising demand for water.
“We are pleased to be investing in a project that will increase the water supply and help reduce the prevalence of water and sanitation-related diseases, including cholera, that are currently affecting the area,” Mr. Takatsune Hirayama of Daye Water Investment (Ghana), stated.
For decades, residents in these communities have suffered acute water problem and no doubt this project will completely eliminate the need to purchase water from water trucks, which is expensive but has a doubtful quality.
It will be recall that in 2011, the late President John Evans Atta Mills, commissioned yet another pipe-borne water project at Sangonaa, an area within the Teshie Township, to reduce the decades water problem in that fishing community of the Greater Accra Region.
Throbbing drums, applause, and thrills hailed the flow of water from the pipes, as the President turned the taps on to commission the project which is now serving the entire Teshie Old Town.
The GH¢30,000 project, financed with internally generated funds from the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Assembly (LEKMA), was one of the water projects President Mills tasked the Water Resources, Works and Housing Ministry to identify for deprived communities throughout the country, as one of the means to improve the living conditions of the people.
President Mills, who was a resident of the Ledzokuku Constituency, reiterated that his government would continue to use state resources to the benefit of the people, and improve their living conditions.
He explained that governance was about providing the people with their basic needs, and gave thanks to God Almighty for the wisdom and understanding, and the ability to improve the conditions of the people.
“Water is life,” the President said, and assured the people of Ghana of the necessary government intervention in areas hit by the dearth of water, so they could enjoy life better.