STORY: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
ABOUT 42 per cent of communities in the Ashanti Region lack potable water supply.
The Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who made this known in an interview at Nkawie, said the current regional coverage of about 58 per cent, even though encouraging, was still not enough to meet the demand.
The national coverage of water is presently at 53 per cent.
The minister disclosed this after inspecting some water and sanitation projects being undertaken by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) in the Atwima Nwabiagya District.
Ms Dapaah stated that the government was determined to initiate more projects to bring the situation to expected levels.
The projects being financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the KfW of Germany, were meant at building a healthy people for national development.
The AfDB is constructing a number of institutional of KVIP places of convenience in the district, and so far 15 of them have been completed while work on the remaining projects are progressing steadily.
The entire projects are due for completion by June 2009.
The tour took the minister to Nkawie, Nkawie Panin and Pasro.
Ms Dapaah commended the Ashanti Regional Office of the CWSA for performing creditably in the provision of potable water and sanitation projects for the rural communities.
She said water was a basic necessity that must be provided at all cost to enable the people to live healthy lives.
Ms Dapaah urged the communities to see the projects as theirs and take good care of them.
According to the minister, about 77 boreholes were being constructed in the district this year with sponsorship from the KfW of Germany.
She recognised the assistance donors were giving to improve the living standards of the people, and expressed the hope that they would take proper care of the projects.
Ms Dapaah was not happy with the inadequate attention being paid to sanitation in communities across the country and called for a change.
The minister asked local contractors engaged on the CWSA projects to redouble their efforts, warning that non-performing contractors would be sanctioned.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Atwima Nwabiagya, Mr Thomas Ofori Donkor, said the Assembly's bye-laws on sanitation would be enforced to the letter to improve the situation.
He said communities enjoying the projects were made to pay five per cent of the project cost, adding that the assembly was, however, supporting communities that had difficulties in paying.