News Column

Massive Investments to Increase Water Supply - Deputy Minister

July 14, 2014

Government has devoted significant attention and resources to improve the living standards of the Ghanaian society, the Deputy Minister for Information and Media Relations, Hon Felix Kwakye Ofosu has stated.

He explained that government had pumped in massive investments to increase urban water coverage from the current level to 85% by 2015 while taking rural water coverage to 76% within the same period in order to guarantee the availability of potable water for all Ghanaians.

Hon Ofosu said this at a press briefing held in Accra to explain the developmental projects the government of Ghana had initiated.

According to him the current demand of water supply in Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA) stood at 150 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) whilst total water production from the Kpong and Weija dams stand at only 93 Million Gallons per Day leaving a shortfall of some 57Million Gallons per Day.

He disclosed that in order to address the water supply issue in the country government had undertaken the Kpong water supply expansion project which would supply 40 million gallons of water a day to areas including Adenta, Madina, Kwabenya, Ashongman, North, East and West Legon, Ashaley Botwe, Haatso, Boi, Asofaa, Dome among others.

He further mentioned that the Kpong Intake Rehabilitation Project was to improve efficiency by replacing all existing pumps.

"As part of the project, 3.3 million gallons per day treatment Plant is being built to increase supply to Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area (ATMA), communities to benefit from the project include Dodowa, Ningo, Prampram and Akuapem Ridge," he added.

He stated that the Accra-Tema Metropolitan area water supply project which cost E56.5 million involved the installation of equipment for the production of 9 million gallons of water per day.

The Deputy Minister said the construction of four reservoirs at Adukrom, Dodowa, Atimpoku and Akorley as well as 92km transmission pipelines when completed would improve water supply to almost 70 communities in both the Greater Accra and the Eastern Regions.

Hon Kwakye Ofosu pointed out that about a quarter of a million people in these communities would have access to potable water when the project was completed and would add a total of 65.3 million gallons of water per day to the existing production capacity and bring total water supply to the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area to 158.3 Million Gallons per Day

0n education Hon Ofosu observed that enrolment at the Basic level had increased by 829,625 in the last four years owing largely to the under listed interventions aimed to guarantee access to education for children.

He stated that a total of 2,064 Basic school projects were under construction and over 100 million exercise books had been distributed since the government started the intervention.

According to him thirty two million (32,000,000) exercise books were distributed to 4,768,806 basic school children across the country and 10 million exercise books would be distributed this year as well as 10,000 uniforms in 2013.

"Currently Ghana's textbook-pupil ratio stands at four textbooks per pupil, before this feat the ratio stood at 1 textbook to three pupils," he stated.

He mentioned that 462,961 final year JHS students would be subsidized at a cost of GHC 14,803,635.00 representing 70% of the bill with parents paying GHC15 which was 30% of the examination fees.

As part of efforts aimed at providing opportunities for BECE candidates who do not meet the criteria for selection into Senior High Schools the Ministry of Education in collaboration with WAEC had reviewed the policy on BECE resit and introduced a new system under which private candidates would now be permitted to resit beginning from February 2015.

He indicated that in order to improve ICT education in the country 60,000 laptops had been distributed to Basic School pupils in all ten Regions of Ghana under the Basic School Computerization Program and 50,000 Basic School teachers across the country also benefited from ICT training.

Hon Kwakye Ofosu noted that Government of Ghana recently secured $156 Million under the Secondary Education improvement Programme to expand Secondary education.

"Tertiary education has received equal attention from government over the last couple of years. The University of Health and Allied Sciences and the University of Energy and Natural Resources established in 2011 have witnessed remarkable improvements over the period," he stated.

Speaking on the topic health, Hon Ofosu stated that government was addressing the healthcare needs of the people in a comprehensive manner. Government had a programme of providing modern hospital equipment to enhance healthcare delivery.

According to him the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital had benefited from a $57 Million project to replace and rehabilitate obsolete equipment and theatres.

In order to strengthen the structures of the NHIS, incremental reforms were being carried out to position it to respond to the ever growing needs of Ghanaians population.

Electronic submission of claims (e-Claims) had been introduced to deal with the logistical challenges associated with paper claims management he added.

"It is intended to boost efficiency in claims management, reduce cost of submission for providers, reduce cost of processing for the NHIA, and expedite the claims payment process, among other things. The piloting of e-Claims began in April 2013," he mentioned.

The Ministry of Health through the NHIA was collaborating with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to register 10,000 aged people in Greater Accra, Central and Eastern regions.

The aged in La, Chorkor, Akoto Lante, Madina, Teshie, Ashaiman, Nima and Nungua had been registered onto the NHIS for free under that programme and more would be registered.

On road network, the Deputy Minister said government would continue to work vigorously to expand and modernize the country's road network.

"Work is progressing steadily on the Ultra-modern Kwame Nkrumah Interchange which would replace the famous Kwame Nkrumah Circle," he said.

The Ring Road between the Royalt Castle intersections on the Ring Road East to the Feo Oyo Intersection on the Ring Road West would be rehabilitated.

These improvements would be made to some of the terminals like the Neoplan and Odawna Stations. These include paving, provision of passenger sheds and improvement in the drainage systems.

Source: ISD (Solomon K.W Tetteh &Wellina S. Neequaye)

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Source: AllAfrica

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