Bagbin attacks NPP for doing shoddy work

…On Tamale water project

From Edmond Gyebi, Tamale

Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin

The Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin has accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration of  doing shoddy work on  the Tamale Water Rehabilitation and Expansion Project.

According to the Minister, residents of Tamale and its surrounding communities would face serious water crisis in 2013, if measures were not taken by the current government to correct the shoddy work, and thus carry out another expansion works on the Tamale Water System.

The 45 million Euro project, which was awarded to Messrs Bi-Water BV, a Dutch based International firm between 2006 and 2008, was to increase water supply in the Tamale Metropolis from 4.4 million gallons a day to 10 million gallons. The Minister was particularly worried about quality of material and how they were installed.

Addressing some key stakeholders in the water sector in Tamale, Mr. Bagbin asserted that some of the huge pipes were supposed to be 2 feet beneath the ground, but in most of the areas that trenches were dug, they were not even up to one foot, thereby exposing most of the pipes.

According to him, his Ministry had had plans to blacklist donors who executed shoddy works, at the expense of the Ghanaian tax payer, but were paid huge sums of monies.

“In my mind, I have already blacklisted some of those companies and will make sure anybody involved in those contracts are seriously taken on. I am saying this openly because it is the truth, and I can assure that those who awarded those contracts and made the payments will also be taken on including those who did the monitoring,” he said.

The Tamale Water System was established somewhere in 1972, but due to persistent break down of the machines, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has to resort to rationing of the water, especially between 1996 and 2007.

Communities such as Kobilmago, Kukuo, Nyohini, Datoyili, SSNIT and Russian Bungalows could not have access to water, sometimes for five months. However, the Tamale Water Expansion Project which started in 2006 and was completed in 2008, was aimed to supply 24 hour water to the people, but it also came with its own problems, as certain communities in the Metropolis are still faced with some water problems and shortages.

Meanwhile, in view of the looming water crisis that is predicted to hit Ghana and some other African countries in 2030, the government of Ghana, according to Mr. Bagbin, was currently rolling out comprehensive water project to significantly expand and upgrade all water infrastructures beginning from 2011.

He indicated that the issue of potable water accessibility in Ghana was nothing to write home about, especially in the three Northern Regions. He noted that, the government required over $89.1 to carry out rehabilitation and capacity expansion of 37,500 cubic meters to arrest the looming water crisis by 2025.

The Minister said that his Ministry was in negotiation with the various funding bodies including Hapoalim Bank of Israel, Hidrobiente Group, African Development Bank, and two other Chinese Companies to provide funding for the projects.

Similar projects would be carried out in Yendi and Damango to supply water to the people at the estimated cost of $28 million and $15 million respectively.

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