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Regional News Mon, 30 Nov 2015

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Pledge to provide 100% water coverage on course - Minister

Dr Kwaku Agyeman Mensah, Minister of Water Resources Works, and Housing, has said government’s pledge to achieve 100 percent water coverage by 2025 was course.

He said the intention was indicated jointly in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda Two, the National Water Policy and the 2012 Manifesto of the ruling NDC.

This, he said, was reflected in the provision of water to the people of Adenta, Madina, Ashaley Botwe and Kwabenya in fulfillment of a promise by President John Dramani Mahama.

Dr Mensah, who made these remarks when he took his turn at the Meet The Press series in Accra, however, indicated that there were limited challenges with the distribution network, which were being tackled.

Government has secured a grant from World Bank to address these and other challenges in urban water delivery in the Greater-Accra Metropolitan Area.

He said urban water coverage as at now stood at 76 percent, adding that the national demand for urban water currently stood at 257 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) while production was 219.2 MGD.

He said last year the total national deficit was 101 MGD, and Greater-Accra alone accounted for 63 MGD, and that had increased to 65.7 MGD.

He said the deficit had been addressed, and now Greater-Accra recorded an excess capacity of 2.7 MGD.

Various water projects have been undertaken to supply water to other urban areas including Kwahu Ridge, Konongo and Kumawu water supply project currently 80 percent completed, and expected to be commissioned in 2016.

Touching on the Wa Water Supply, the Minister said the existing water supply system depended on ground water which delivered 395,000 gallons a day, which did not meet the water demand of Wa.

The Minister said the new project which was based on an intake on the Black Volta, was to provide 3.3 MGD water, adding that the project would bring the total water supply to Wa and its environs to approximately 3.7 MGD sufficient to meet the water demand for Wa up to 2025.

The project, at a cost of 55 million dollars, is about 70 percent complete and will benefit communities including, Wa Municipal area, University for Development Studies, Jambousi, Kong, Guo, Pase Dorimon, Boro, Siriyiri, Bamaho, Boli, Buro, Chaira, Kolongo and Kperisi.

He said the Community Water and Sanitation Agency facilitated a number of water sanitation projects funded by government and development partners.

An example, he said, was the peri-urban, rural and small towns water and sanitation project in the Brong-Ahafo Region, under which an estimated number of 300,000 people in 27 districts in the region were to benefit.

On the housing sub-sector, the Minister said the deficit in the country was in excess of 1.7 million units, adding that to address this deficit and provide for the growing population, we needed to deliver a minimum of 170,000 housing units annually over the next 10 years.

He said the deficit was pronounced in the middle to low income bracket, and that the private informal sector delivered over 90 percent of the housing stock in the country.

He said government’s efforts to address the deficit was to focus on the delivery of affordable housing and also provide an enabling environment for the private sector to continue to deliver housing units.

He said a final draft review of the new rent bill had been completed and was due for validation and onward submission to Cabinet for approval.

He said some highlights included change of name from Rent Control to Rent Management Department, rent advance payment review, to allow a maximum of a one year rent advance payment and certification of rental accommodation agents.

Source: GNA

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