Regional News Thu, 22 May 2003

Five towns prefer guinea worm to treated water

Atebubu (Brong Ahafo) - Five communities in the Atebubu district of the Brong-Ahafo Region, unhappy that they have to pay a token fee for treated water provided for them to check the spread of guinea worm in their areas, have alleged refused to use it.

The ?10bn project undertaken under the Atebubu Small Towns Water Project with funds from the European Union (EU) became urgent to execute following the high incidence of guinea worm in those communities among others.

Dubbed the “Slow sand filtration system, the project which took off in March last year and is reputed to be the first in the country is to supply 100,000 gallons of treated water a day to 20,000 inhabitants of the district.

Each community was initially expected to pay ?450,000 a month towards the maintenance of the project. But the communities, Issifukrom, Bunkesie, Pokuakura, Duabone Number One and Two, do not understand why they should be charged for using water.

They contend that the River Pru, which is being tapped for treatment is on their land and so the use of the water should be free. Not even the reduction of the levy by the managing company Armco Limited to ?150,000 would convince them to use the water preferring rather to draw untreated water freely from the river.

These came to light when the Regional Minister, Nana Kwadwo Seinti, visited the area as part of a four-day familiarization tour of the Atebubu and Sene districts.

Disturbed about the situation, Nana Seinti appealed to the managing firm (Armco Ltd) and the District Chief Executive Cassius Osei-Poku to undertake a massive education programme in those communities to convince them of the need to use the treated water.

Source: Ghanaian Times