By Justice Lee Adoboe
ACCRA Cheap Air Max Vapormax Outlet , March 22 (Xinhua) -- Low level of financing and the pollution of water bodies have been identified as the two major challenges facing sustainable water service delivery in both urban and rural Ghana.
The Ghana Water Company Ltd (GWCL) says it needs 2 billion U. S. dollars to build up enough treatment plants and rehabilitate old dilapidated plants to ensure increased water production in order to attain 100 percent coverage nationwide.
The company also has to deal with water pollution by illegal miners, sand winners, unorthodox farming methods and fecal pollution that keep cost of production at a high level.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Friday, Michael Agyeman, chief manager in charge of public relations of the GWCL Cheap Air Max 2018 Outlet , said while the demand for the whole country was 249 million gallons of water per day (249 mgpd), what the company is able to produce stands at 150 mgpd.
Using 2009 as the base year, the Annual Progress Report (APR) of 2012 by the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing says access to safe water in the rural areas is 63.41 percent and 62.9 percent in urban.
This worked up to 86 percent of potable water coverage for the whole country under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations (UN).
Despite this achievement, the water situation across the country has not been so smooth-sailing for communities Cheap Air Max 2017 Outlet , as there are still huge gaps in water delivery in rural, urban and peri- urban areas.
"We need more funding from the government of Ghana in order to be able to increase production capacity, since the tariffs we charge only take care of our running and operational costs," Agyeman maintained.
Out of 100 million dollars needed annually for investment into infrastructure, the company only receives 30 million dollars Cheap Air Max Outlet , the official disclosed.
The difficult financial situation of the company was worsened by the pollution of many of the water bodies, hence the need to increase volumes of chemicals imported at a high cost to treat the water, Agyeman said.
This also comes at foreign exchange losses due to the depreciation of the local cedi currency against the dollar.
"Meanwhile water bodies are drying up as a result of siltation and encroachment occasioned by illegal mining, unscientific farming and waste disposal methods and pollution," the official told Xinhua.
Agyeman mentioned rivers such as Birim Cheap Nike Air Max Vapormax Mens , Pra, Anono as valuable water bodies drying up or heavily polluted due to the introduction of cyanide and mercury by illegal mining operators.
He said some water treatment centers to wait for six clear months for the water to clear before they could start production.
Accra alone needs at least 150 million gallons per day (gpd) production but is currently producing only 93 million.
In addition to the inadequate funding and high cost of production, Agyeman listed uneconomical tariffs and water theft through illegal connections as some of the other woes of the water company.
While the water company sells 220 gallons of water at 1. 38 Ghana cedis, or 0.552 dollars, private water suppliers sell about 14 gallons for the same amount.
Theme for the 2014 Word Water Day celebrations is "Water and Energy Cheap Nike Air Max 2018 Mens ," and Agyeman noted that the relationship between water and energy in Ghana is symbiotic.
"If there is no electricity we cannot produce or pump water, while energy development at various levels also depends on water," he stated.
According to him, the Aboadze Thermal Plant uses water from the GWCL to cool down their machines under high temperature.
"However the activities of illegal miners and other water pollution activities are rendering hydro-electric power generation difficult as the rivers and other water bodies that feed the country's hydro-electric dams are drying up.
Ghana generates hydro-electric power from three dams at Akosombo, Kpong and recently at Bui with thermal development also increasing.
"The power interruptions always affect our activities as we cannot pump enough water to our consumers even if we have the water already produced Cheap Nike Air Max 2017 Mens ," he added.
Agyeman called for increased funding from the government for the company to be able to meet the water needs of Ghanaians across the country.
He also urged Ghanaians to desist from activities that could cause water bodies to dry up, since water is life.
Theodora Adomako-Adjei, Extension Services Coordinator at Community Water & Sanitation Agency (CWSA) said rural water delivery was hampered by low financing.
Moreover, she said the District Assemblies were also not providing the needed support to district level staff to undertake their activities in the rural communities.
Ghana's rural water and sanitation are 90 percent Development Partner funded, with the World Bank providing significant chunk of the finances.
Adomako-Adjei noted however that Cheap Nike Air Max Mens , regions such as Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern and Ashanti have not had any World Bank supported project over the past two years, hence the gaps that were beginning to appear in rural water supply.
She also blamed the district assemblies for not being able to provide the counterpart funding needed for most of the projects.
The official urged government of Ghana to step its funding for the provision of water in the rural communities.
Afia Zakiya, Country Representative of Water Aid Ghana (WAG) recalled that government of Ghana Cheap Air Max Vapormax Mens , as part of the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) pledged in 2010 to provide 350 million dollars in budget allocation for the water sector annually and a further 100 million dollars for the sanitation sector annually.