President John Dramani Mahama yesterday cut the sod for the construction of a 20 million Euro water supply project at Abrem Agona in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipality of the Central Region.
Known as the Cape Coast Water Supply Project, it is expected to benefit about 400,000 people in the Municipality and the Cape Coast Metropolis and other districts when completed by December 2016.
It is being funded with a Dutch Government grant under the Ghana-Netherlands Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme, and will be constructed by Engineers and contractors from Netherlands.
Addressing a durbar of chiefs and people of beneficiary communities, President Mahama said the project was intended to bring the much expected relief to the people of Cape Coast and its environs from water crisis caused when water in the Brimsu dam fell below required level.
The project is primarily to interconnect the Sekyere Hemang and Brimsu water systems thereby allowing 4.4 million gallons of treated water daily from Sekyere Hemang to be supplied to the other clear water wells at Brimsu.
It would then be supplied to areas such as Cape Coast, Moree, Abura, Mpeasem, Brimsu Road, Kwaprow, Apewosika, Amamoma, Kwesi Pra, New Ebu, Abakrampa, YesuNkwa, Bronyibima Estate Annex, Sanka, New Abina/ SSNIT, Yayakwano, Jukwa and surrounding areas.
The project will also include the construction of pipelines, pump stations and reservoirs, to strengthen the distribution network.
President Mahama stated that though the region was noted for its tourist attraction, such as mining, agriculture and most especially renowned educational intuitions, it would not function effectively without water, thus the need for project.
He said the Government was committed to its aim of increasing water supply all over the country due to the crucial role water played in development and urged beneficiary communities to use the water wisely and report faults promptly.
He commended the Paramount Chief of the Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kodwo Konduah IV, for his active participation in the National Sanitation Day Campaign and urged other traditional leaders to front the campaign in their various areas to boost participation.
Mr. Hans Docter, Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, said the Region was chosen because his government believed tourism could drive the development of the Region and therefore would help strengthen the infrastructure development to help business activities.
He said though the project was the last being funded by their government, it was not the end of its collaboration with Ghana as it was shifting its focus to other areas.
He assured that the Netherland constructors in charge of the project would finish it on time and called for collaboration from stakeholders.
Alhaji Collins Dawda, Minster for Water Resources, Works and Housing, called on traditional leaders and land owners to stop the disputes that arose when pipe lines were passed through their lands for their own benefits.
The Central Regional Minister, Mr. Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, gave the assurance that the project would not stall at a point and called on traditional leaders to unite to foster the development of their respective communities.
Nana Kyiriwiah Kodie, Paramount Chief of the Abrem Traditional area, appealed for the construction of the Effutu- Agona and other Road networks in the area, which were in very deplorable state and inhibiting transportation of farm produce resulting in huge post-harvest loses.
He also appealed for the expansion of the Abrem Agona Health Post to enhance healthcare delivery and end the numerous referrals to hospitals in other areas which sometimes resulted in deaths of loved ones.