Tuesday, June 12, 2018

China offers Ghana over 1,000 boreholes

By Edmund Smith-Asante, ACCRA

This child at the Santromor No. 1 L/A Primary School cannot have enough of the potable water provided by the Chinese government.

An average of 160 boreholes have been provided in each of six regions of the country as part of a US$20 million water project being embarked on by the Chinese government for the people of Ghana.

The regions which have benefited from the 1,000 boreholes China Aid project are Eastern, Western, Volta, Northern, Brong Ahafo and Upper East.

The project, which began in February 2016 after an agreement was signed between Ghana and China in 2015, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.

Speaking to some selected journalists last Monday, the Project Manager of executors of the job, Zhongmei Engineering Group Limited, Mr Huang Xian Zhou, said the list of beneficiary communities in each of the regions was provided by the government of Ghana.

“Each region got about 160 boreholes and the local people everywhere we have gone have cooperated very well with us to finish this project, we appreciate that and we say thank you to them for their cooperation and for their help,” he said.

Mr Huang said the project team has also had a lot of assistance from the government to finish the project and as a sign of goodwill the company donated 29 more boreholes.

He added that about 100 Ghanaians have also been employed in the course of executing the project.

Site visits
During a tour of some of the project sites in beneficiary communities in the Eastern region last Monday, indigenes said the provision of potable water all year round had not only helped them cut short long distances and hours to streams to fetch untreated water, but had also improved school attendance and their socioeconomic life.

The communities visited were Nana Boame near Teacher Mante off the Accra-Nsawam road in the Ayensua District, Asuboi in the Kraboa-Coaltar District, Santromor No. 1 in the Suhum District and Dago in the Akwapim South District.

10 boreholes
In an interview with the Water Technician/Engineer of the Suhum Municipal Assembly, Mr Jasper Quarshie, he said his area had received a total of 10 boreholes under the China Aid programme.
He listed some of the communities in his jurisdiction as Okonam, Kwabena Kumi, Kow Nartey, Yaw Badu, Densuso, Nana Boame and Krobuom.

Good collaboration
He described the installation of the boreholes as good “because there was a cordial relationship between the Chinese Supervisor and I and we moved together up till the end of the project.”

Mr Quarshie said the two of them always consulted each other to deal with challenges that occurred. He noted that the project was very beneficial because it provided potable water to communities which hitherto lacked such.

“Now they are enjoying and their children are now going to school early. At first they had to go to school late because they woke up early in the morning, went in search of water for so many hours before coming to the house to prepare for school.

“But now the water is just at their doorstep. They just wake up and fetch the water, and then they quickly run to school,” he said.

More needed
Mr Quarshie, however, stated that there were more communities in need of potable water in the municipality, especially 25 communities which required it urgently.

He listed some of the communities as Nanankor and Abonabo No. 1 and No. 2 which had their hand dug wells going dry in the dry season, adding that most of the communities in dire need of water depended on streams, dugouts and hand dug wells.

According to Mr Quarshie the dearth of water in some communities was due to the creation of settlements by individuals or groups for farming in places where there was no water, and years later they started requesting for water.  

He added that the provision of 10 boreholes meant that about 3,000 people were being served, as one spout is meant to serve about 300 people.

He indicated that while the number was quite appreciable some communities needed more than one borehole since they stretched and required very long walks by those farther away from the facility.

Writer’s email: esmith_asante@yahoo.com

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