Business News of Saturday, 3 February 2018
Government has secured funding for the long awaited Supplementary Tono water project.
The 42 million dollar project partly financed by the ING Bank of Belgium with grant element from Orios of the Dutch government, is expected to start in earnest.
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr. Kofi Addah announced this during a tour of the Tono irrigation dam site accompanied by Board of Directors of the Ghana Water Company Limited.
Mr. Addah told Radio Ghana that the execution of the project which will take 2-3 years to complete, will develop a water treatment plant that will extend pipelines from Tono through to Bolgatanga, Bongo and Paga.
He said its completion will help address the perennial water shortages in the region, while providing support for dry season farming.
The Vea and Tono irrigation dams functions as the major sources of drinking water for residents of the Upper East Region.
The two facilities are practically being managed by the Irrigation Company of the Upper Region, ICOUR, and had for the past years, served its purpose in addition to the irrigation component.
All along, the Tono Irrigation project which was initially developed for the abstraction of water for production and domestic use, had helped to improve the livelihood of most farmers through the production of food crops and vegetables such as rice, tomato and pepper.
Moreover, recent rehabilitation works on the impounded dam project has led to increased water supply in the Navrongo Township and beyond.
On the other hand, the Vea dam which supplies water to Bolgatanga and its environs through the Ghana Water Company, GWCL, has outlived its usefulness.
Currently, the facility operates as low as 4000 cubic meters of water capacity as against the expected daily demand of 7,400 cubic meters.
It is for this and other reasons that the supplementary Tono Water Project is coming on stream to partially fulfill the total demand of water supply.
However, the visit by the Sector Minister, Mr. Kofi Addah and board members of the GWCL was to inspect the project site to pave way for its official take off.
Mr. Addah who gave an overview of the project said the project has been on drawing board of government for years.
Now that adequate funding had been sourced for its execution, the ministry is working on modalities to ensure its commencement.
As it stand, parts of the region are undergoing water rationing as a result of population increase, particularly Bolgatanga, where there has been a significant increase in the capacity of water delivery.
Speaking to Radio Ghana, the Managing Director of the GWCL, Ing. Dr. Clifford Braimah explained that current demand for water far outstrip supply, however the completion of the project will cater for areas that are badly hit by the shortfall.
Ing. Dr. Clifford Braimah also gave the assurance that his office will partner appropriate agencies to create a buffer to avoid siltation and other illegalities that may poses a threat to its survival.
For his part, the Board Chairman of the GWCL, Afenyo Markin commended the sector minister for the intervention, which he noted forms part of government’s long term vision of ensuring equal and accessible water for all.
Earlier, the sector Minister and his team met with the Acting Manager of ICOUR, Sabastian Bagina to acquaint themselves with the operations of the company. Among them was the Paramount Chief of the Sakote Traditional Area, Naba Sigri Bewong.
They also paid courtesy call on the regent of the Navrongo Traditional Area at his palace.
The successful completion of the supplementary Tono water project is expected to produce not less than 30,000 cubic meters of water a day, which works to about 10 million cubic meters a year.