About 40 per cent of the people living in the northern region have no access to portable drinking water and are vulnerable to water related diseases.
The Northern regional Director of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) Mr. Ofori McCarthy who disclosed this during the regional launch of Ghana Sustainable water supply and sanitation project (SWSP) said the water situation in northern region was very critical and would need collaborative efforts to deal with it to achieve the millennium development goals on water.
The US$75 million Ghana Sustainable water supply and sanitation project is a five year rural water and sanitation improvement project to be financed by the International Development Agency (IDA) of the World Bank to ensure sustainable water flow to rural communities. Out of the amount the Government of Ghana was contributing US$2.43 million to facilitate the expansion, upgrading and servicing of water facilities across the beneficiary communities.
The project would provide 1,200 boreholes, 40 limited mechanized water systems, and 29 full-scale mechanized water supplies in Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East, West, Central and Western regions to give people access to portable, clean drinking water.
Mr. McCarthy explained that water was an important resource and that the quality and quantity available would determine the pace of development at a particular place.
He appealed to manage water systems well warning that failure to do so would affect the society greatly.
The northern regional and sanitation Engineer Alhaji Ahmed Ewura explained that geochemical information available indicated that parts of northern region have high fluoride content and that underground water which was so saline that it was affecting the health of the people, the manager indicated.
Mr. Ewura said rain water harvesting technology was possible solution to community water crisis saying the system best fits institutions with limited number of people and usage.
He advocated end of opened defecation that contaminates water resources and appealed to the district assemblies, chiefs and opinion leaders to support the programme to succeed.
The Deputy northern regional minister Mr. Sam Nasamu Asabigi said that water and sanitation delivery has not kept pace with the increase in population putting lives at rural and peri-urban at critical position.
He promised the government’s commitment to delivery quality service and good governance to the people. He was grateful to the World bank for the intervention.