The Chinese Government has handed over 1,029 boreholes it constructed across 10 regions of Ghana to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to enhance access to potable water by rural communities towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal-Six.
The project was funded through a grant from the Chinese Government, under the Economic and Technical Corporation and Agreement signed in December 2015.
At the handing over ceremony held at Densusu near Suhum in the Eastern Region, Mr Shi Ting Wang, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, said the wells included hand pump boreholes and submersible pumps, which costed 20 million dollars or 100 million Ghana cedis.
He said the 1,029 boreholes would supply more than 500,000 remote communities and rural residents with clean and hygienic drinking water, and they would be monuments depicting the friendship between Ghana and China.
China was willing to provide 60 billion dollars to support Africa through government assistance, financial institutions and corporate investment and financing, he said.
Mr Shi said China was willing to contribute its strength and wisdom to the goal of a ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ being pursued by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, who took over the boreholes, on behalf of the beneficiary communities, said it was an undisputed fact that access to safe water and improved sanitation was key to the socio-economic development of a country.
“It is in this regard that the Government would support any initiative that would enhance access to safe water and improve sanitation services to all Ghanaians.”
Madam Dapaah said Ghana, the Joint Monitoring Platform and UNICEF, and the world as a whole, had managed to reduce by half the number of people using unimproved sources of drinking water, adding that 89 per cent of Ghana’s population had access to improved water source.
She noted that the report, however, identified inequalities between the rich and the poor and geographical areas as a challenge, which still pertained in many countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Therefore, in the face of addressing population growth, these disparities need to be addressed for Ghana to achieve her target of water and sanitation for all by 2025, Madam Dapaah noted.
Another challenge, she said, was the issue of sustainability of water and sanitation services, as well as water quality right from the source to the point of use at the household level.
She called on the communities to contribute to sustaining the water services provided and urged the municipal and district assemblies to educate community members on hygienic ways of transporting, storing and using the water to avoid compromising its quality.
“The Government expects the citizenry, especially domestic consumers, who would benefit from these boreholes project, to contribute their quota by ensuring the protection and sustainability of investment in the water sector,” Madam Dapaah added.
Nana Baffuor Adu Ameyaw II, the Chief of Densusu Traditional Area, expressed the community’s gratitude to the Chinese Government for the kind gesture, saying, “It is a memorable day for us”.
He commended government for selecting Densusu as a beneficiary and gave the assurance that members of the community would put the facility to good use and ensure its proper maintenance.