On Tuesday 28 July 2020 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for construction of the Tamale Water Supply Project. The event was part of his tour of the Northern Region.
President Akufo-Addo said the water project seeks to expand the supply capacity of the Tamale Metropolitan Area, and also improve flexibility of water supply by building a new system which will rely on the White Volta at Yapei. The system will centre around a water treatment plant capable of processing 29.7 million gallons a day.
“This will be, by far, the biggest water project in the five northern regions, and the second biggest in the history of our country,” he announced.
Explaining the rationale for the project, the president said that Tamale, like most parts of the country, faces rapid population growth. Unfortunately, this has been a key factor militating against the provision of adequate social infrastructure for Ghanaians, with the demand for water far outstripping supply in Tamale.
He recounted how in 1971, under the Progress Party government of Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia, the Tamale Water Supply System, at Nawuni on the White Volta River, was built to serve Tamale and its environs.
It was not until the time of the government led by President John Agyekum Kufuor that an intervention was made to improve the local water supply, by expanding the works at Dalun. The works here included construction of a 20,000-cubic-metre storage reservoir at Kukuo Yepalsi. This intervention increased the output capacity of the water treatment plant from 25,000 to 40,000 cubic metres a day.
“I have recounted the history of water supply to Tamale in order to place in proper context the significance of the current intervention to meet the water demand for Tamale and its environs, looking at a planning horizon up to the year 2040,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The government, the president said, will build a new water treatment plant at Yapei, thereby making available two systems which will work concurrently to supply water to Tamale and its environs. This should guarantee the availability of enough potable water to cover the needs of the metropolis, significantly extending the coverage area of water supply.
“To execute this project on a turnkey basis, the government has secured a credit facility amounting to US$223,287,979.56 from the UK Export Finance and the Deutsche Bank AG, London branch,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He continued, “I am happy to state that, upon completion, the Project will provide potable water to over 792,000 inhabitants of Tamale and its environs. This ties in with the government’s agenda of ensuring that, by the year 2030, as enshrined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, all Ghanaians will have access to potable water – in other words there will be ‘Water For All’.”
The beneficiary towns and communities for the project in Tamale and its environs include Cheshegu, Nanton, Yapei/Yipala, Chirifoyili, Nyankpala, Yepeligu, Dalun, Pong Tamale, Yoggo, Gbullung, Sanerigu, Zagayull, Gurugu, Sankpala, Zangbulung, Jisonayili, Savelugu, Kusawgu, Kakpagayili, Tibung, Bagabaga, Kanvili, Tolon, Tamale Township, Kumbungu and Vitin.
Water for all
Reiterating his government’s policy to ensure that all 16 regions of the country have access to water, he told residents of Tamale that since he assumed in 2017, the government has embarked on securing funding to build water treatment plants, increase citizens’ access to water, and to create the enabling environment to attract local as well as foreign investors.
“I am happy to announce that the government has secured funding for the Upper East, Tamale, Damongo, Yendi, Wenchi and Keta Water Supply Projects. The Upper East Water Supply Project, which began in 2018, is progressing steadily, whilst the sod-cutting for the Damongo and Yendi projects will take place tomorrow, and those of Wenchi and Keta shortly,” he said.
These projects will serve a total population of 1.6 million, President Akufo-Addo said, adding: “In addition, the government has secured funding for the construction of the Sunyani Water Supply Project, Sekondi-Takoradi Water Supply Project and Techiman Water Supply Project, all subject to pending cabinet and parliamentary approvals.”
The government, President Akufo-Addo assured guests at the sod-cutting ceremony, “is going through the process of securing funding for the Tarkwa, Fanteakwa-Begoro, Hohoe, Assin Fosu, Kpong Phase II and Dambai Water Supply Projects, as well as the Weija Dam rehabilitation and Barekese Dam expansion Projects.”
Click on the link below to listen to President Akufo-Addo.
Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio