— as MP seeks Govt Intervention
Residents and domestic animals within the Salaga North Constituency in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region for years now, have to scramble for water, as the central government appeared to have forgotten their plight.
As the dry season approaches, women and their children who shelter themselves from the scorching sun in most of the remote farming communities in the constituency have to trek long distance in order to access water regardless of the fact that even that is not potable to quench human thirst.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Salaga North, Hon Alhassan Mumuni, disclosed this exclusively to THE REPUBLIC in an interview in parliament yesterday. According to him, severe water crisis has badly affected majority of the communities of Salaga North Constituency as all the most potable water sources in the area have dried up.
During dry seseasons, which he said is the worst period, residents of the deprived communities have to travel between 20 to 30 kilometers to scramble with animals to access water.
“The main source of potable water are dams and hand dugout wells that all dry up. In dry season, people of the communities have to travel between 20 to 30 kilometers towards Tamale to access water, ” Hon Mumuni stated.
Some of the communities the MP said, include Bgung, Kpalbi, Changbilgu, Kushini, Nyinshila, Tantuani, Kpalguni and other far distance communities.
“The Residents travel far away from their homes to get water which they get after three to four hours everyday. The area, especially Kpalguni, Bgung, Kushini areas have been hit badly as we are in dry season, some have to travel longer distance to get water from Fuu river,” the MP further lamented.
He told the paper that, the only borehole that has been drilled sometime ago has also dried up as the water table has subsided to the low level, making it had to pump enough water.
Hon Mumuni who sounded very worried over the plight of his constituents, expressed the view that, the only short term solution was for him to distil and dig more dams and dugout as well as boreholes, while seeking intervention from the central government.
He mentioned that, beside the effort being made when he was the District Chief Executive for Gonja East between 2009-2013, effort has been to provide water including a number of boreholes, stating ” a GHS130,000 World Bank project by the Community Water and Sanitation Department and expressed the hope that when the project is executed, it would help minimise the problem.”
While assuring to continue with the effort at his personal personal level, the Salaga North lawmaker called on the central the government to intervene by piping the Tamale water system to service the nearest communities.
In a similar developmental problem, Hon Mumuni has called on the government to continue and complete the Kpalbe Community Day Senior High School project which was initiated by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
Currently, he said Salaga North does not have any existing public secondary school and completing the Community Day Senior High School would go a long way to reduce the burden on parents and traveling expenses of students who have had to travel to other constituencies to access secondary education.
The MP made the call when he dragged the Minister for Education before parliament over the abandonment of the Kpalbe Community Day Senior High School project since January, this year..
Posing a question to the Minister for Education on the floor of parliament, Mr Mumuni said, “Mr Speaker, I want to ask the Minister for Education when the Kpalbe Community Day Senior High School project will be completed.”
In response, the Minister, Hon Mathew Opoku Prempreh said, the project is part of the 101 Community Senior High School (CSHS) Projects which falls within the second phase of the project funded by GOG through GETFund.
According to the Minister, “the contract for the construction of Kpalbe Community Day Senior High School in the East Gonja District was awarded to Messrs Ayman & Raja Hatoum Limited on 10th June, 2015 at a contract price of GHS 9,437,602.85.”
He added that, the Consultant on the project is Messrs Bows Consortium Limited and that the project was to be completed within 18 calendar months.
The Contractor, Messrs Ayman & Raja Hatoum Limited, the Minister said has since carried out 17% of the works and is expected to complete the project per his revised work schedule by August, 2018.
Asked further when the project would be completed, the Minister said, the project is scheduled to be completed in August 2018, but expressed the fear that non availability of funds by the employer (GoG) might delay its scheduled completion.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba