The sod was cut on Friday to mark the beginning of the first phase of the 70-million euro Sekondi-Takoradi rehabilitation and expansion water project expected to deliver 22 million gallons (100,000 cubic metres) of water daily.
The three-year project, being funded with a concessionary loan the Government of Ghana is taking from the Austrian Export Credit Agency (OeKB) and Commerxbank AG of Germany, will be executed by STRABAG AG of Australia, to serve 1,417,081 people in the metropolis.
Scope of work includes the construction of a river bottom ramp/overflow weir on River Pra, downstream of the intake, to prevent seawater intrusion and provide a balanced stream to abstract the raw water with minimum sediments and suspended soils.
There will also be the construction of an intake and a dedicated overhead power line and new substation for the Daboase water treatment plant.
Performing the ceremony on behalf of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, gave the assurance that, “We have got the money for this project and it has been approved by Parliament, and, so we are on course.”
He noted that despite the importance of potable water in the lives of people, residents of the metropolis and beyond faced challenges of reliable water supply, adding that the project, upon completion, would provide adequate water for domestic use, food and also other processing facilities in the Western Region.
The government, he said, had keen interest in the Western Region due to the huge resources it possessed, especially the oil and gas potential, so it would ensure that the project succeeded “because you can’t develop without adequate water supply”.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said, “The Western Region is the gateway for industries. Today should go down in history as a memorable one. The region is about to become an attraction for food processing because the investor wants to know if the region has adequate water. Your region is ready for a big take-off.
“As the twin city continues to attract more people as a result of its socio-economic potential, the rapid rate of population growth, has, however, not been matched by the delivery of water supply. Government is committed to creating the enabling environment that will attract businesses to the local communities.”
He advised STRABAG to do a good job because the region would attract the biggest investment of $60 billion from private consortia in the world to develop the petroleum hub in Jomoro “to transform the development narrative of the region and help to catalyse our development as a nation”.
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, said the project showed government’s commitment to provide potable water to stimulate the needed growth and development of the country, adding, “ we are ensuring that no region is left behind”.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabene Okyere Darko-Mensah, said the erratic water supply in the area would be a thing of the past.
The Managing Director of Ghana Water Company, Ing. Dr Clifford Braimah, said the rationing of water was due to the reduction in average supply from the Inchaban and Daboase plants from about 9.9 million gallons per day to about 6.6 million, as against the current demand of 19.8 million gallons.
Manfred Rauch, Technical Manager, Group International, STRABAG, promised that despite COVID -19, the group would execute the project with Ghana Water Company within the scheduled period.