Sunday, August 10, 2008


there seems to be some hope in sight for the water supply situation in Kumasi, with the rehabilitation and expansion works ongoing at the major water production systems at the Barekese and Owabi dams.
When all is over, about 16 million gallons of water would be added to the existing supply to make life more comfortable for Kumasi residents.
To say the least, the situation today is not good for a metropolis with a population of about 1.2 million.
The current water supply of 16 million a day, indeed, cannot be said to be a welcome news for Kumasi, Ghana's second largest city.
Originally, 18 million gallons of water were being supplied to the metropolis every day, with the biggest percentage of supply coming from three pumps at Barekese.
However, a breakdown of one of the pumps has cut down on supply by two million gallons, to 16 million gallons a day.
Going by the population growth, officials say Kumasi needs at least 27 million gallons a day.
This means there is a shortfall of about nine million gallons daily, which must be addressed in order to bring some comfort to the people.
Even though officials of Aqua Vitens Rand Limited say the water situation in the metropolis has improved over what pertained early this year, they admit that that is not enough, because Kumasi has expanded, both in physical development and population.
Water is life, so the saying goes. And for a sprawling metropolis like Kumasi, the situation becomes more pressing as the demand for water keeps increasing by the day.
Early this year, the water sector in Kumasi witnessed a crisis of a sort. Water was rationed in the city. Some areas had supplies every three days or more, bringing untold hardships to the residents.
People had to resort to fetching water from streams and ponds with threatening health implications.
The last time the Barekese Dam, which supplies the chunk of water to Kumasi, saw rehabilitation was in 1998.
Even then it did little to increase the capacity of the existing supply system.
That was the time the population of Kumasi was about 900,000. Now with the projected population of 1.2 million, Kumasi continues to rely on the same supply system.
The government's decision to look for funds to rehabilitate and expand the existing systems at Barekese and Owabi is, therefore, a matter of great importance.
The rehabilitation work at Barekese is expected to restore the shortfall of two million and add 16 million gallons a day.
Many other areas that have not enjoyed water for some period of time would also be restored.
This means that the SSNIT flats, for instance, would be reconnected. This is one part of the city where water has been a major problem for years and the restoration of supply would be a huge relief to residents.
Laying of pipes along the Sofoline–Abuakwa road has been temporarily suspended because of the ongoing reconstruction work on the road.
Officials say the laying of the pipes will resume as work on the road progresses.
Even though for now the central parts of the city are enjoying what appears to be uninterrupted flow of water, many other areas, including newly developed suburbs are without potable water.
People who could afford have dug boreholes as there are no immediate signs that water from the main system would ever get to them in the shortest possible time.

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