The Acting President of the Ekumfi Traditional Council in the Central Region, Nana Inpriem VII, is on a collision course with the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda, over a €3.5-million loan granted by the Belgian Government for the completion of the Ekumfi Essakyir Water Project, meant to supply potable water to the people in the Ekumfi district and parts of Gomoa and Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam districts.
The water project was commenced by the late President Atta Mills who hailed from the area, but according to sources, it is about 65 percent complete – even though President Atta Mills’ successor, John Mahama, had promised to complete it in good time to serve the people.
According to Nana Inpriem VII, the loan had long been processed but the Minister was refusing to send it to Cabinet for the money to be released for the completion of the project.
This prompted the traditional ruler to complain about the attitude of the Minister when President Mahama recently undertook a two-day official tour of the Central Region.
Nana Inpriem’s anger about the delay in the completion of the project reached a crescendo last week when he lambasted the Minister on radio for refusing to let Ekumfi people have access to potable water.
The Minister also responded in an equal measure on radio, asking the Acting President of the Traditional Council not to behave ignorantly.
The Minister told DAILY GUIDE that the chief did not know how things work in government concerning loans and that he should not ignorantly accuse him (Minister) of intentionally delaying the project.
Collins Dauda gave the assurance that he was working on the loan and very soon it would be presented to Cabinet for discussion and the necessary decision to be taken on it.
“My friend,” (addressing this reporter) “the project the chief is complaining about is 90 percent complete and people are already being served with potable water,” he said.
Meanwhile, information from the area indicates that it is only the treatment plant that has been completed and that only a few communities are being served.
According to the information, laying of pipelines to many of the communities had not been done and so those communities could not get water to drink.
“The Essakyir Water Plant is to produce 3.6 million gallons a day for the three districts but it is currently supplying abysmal 200 gallons a day,” an opinion leader from the area told DAILY GUIDE.