The government has secured a $48 million loan from the World Bank to boost water supply across the country.
The money will be used to implement a national water distribution line replacement and installation project to ensure the supply of potable water to all communities, starting with the Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area.
The initiative forms part of government’s intervention measures to ensure the provision of potable water for all by 2025.
Speaking to journalists during a visit to the two main water treatment plants in the Accra–Tema metropolis yesterday, the Deputy Minister in charge of Water, Samuel Yaw Adusei, said currently the Ghana Water Company (GWC) is producing water in excess of the volumes needed in the metropolis.
The tour formed part of a working visit to all water treatment plants nationwide to ensure that they were operating smoothly and also ascertain the progress of work on ongoing projects at the various plants.
The Accra-Tema metropolis needs 160 million gallons of water a day. Currently, however, following the completion of a number of national projects, including the Kpong treatment plant expansion project and the Teshie-Nungua desalination project, the GWC is producing 180 million gallons a day.
Challenges to distribution
Mr Adusei said even though potable water production had outweighed demand in the metropolis, the absence of sufficient distribution lines was hindering the supply of water to all communities in the metropolis.
He intimated that the situation had arisen because, among other reasons, since the GWC distribution pipelines were laid, new communities had sprung up which needed to be connected to the distribution network, while some existing ones had broken down and needed to be replaced.
That, he said, would enhance the government’s road map to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 6 which requires United Nations member states to provide potable water for all by 2030.
He indicated that the project would commence soon and be completed by the close of 2016.
Speaking on some of the challenges faced by the GWC at its Weija treatment plant, the deputy minister said the raw water in the Weija Dam was highly polluted as a result of human activities, including fishing, farming, washing, cattle rearing, along the banks of the dam.
As a result, he said, the company had to spend huge sums of money on chemicals to treat the raw water.
“As part of measures to curb the situation, national security officers have been deployed to patrol the dam,” he added.
He was quick to debunk assertions by sections of the public that the water produced by the company was unwholesome and, therefore, sachet water was an alternative.
Mr Adusei said water produced by the GWC met the standards set by the World Health Organisation.
He said the government continued to monitor the production of water to ensure safety and safeguard the health of the citizenry.
He was of the view that the assertion was being used as a marketing strategy to boost the sale of sachet water.