The Minority in Parliament has called for urgent opening of the Teshie desalination treatment facility to address the creeping water shortages being experienced in parts of the Greater Accra region.
According to the Minority, the uncertain times the state finds itself and the effort being put in the fight against the coronavirus makes it expedient for potable water to be available for the citizenry.
Former Deputy Minister for Works and Housing Sampson Ahi, warned that the water shortages will exacerbate the coronavirus outbreak if the situation is not addressed immediately.
Speaking to THE CUSTODIAN in an interview in Parliament, he noted that the precautionary measures advised by the government to fend off the Covid-19 epidemic requires the use of a lot of water for handwashing.
“Meanwhile we are struggling to even get water for domestic use. This is time the government as a matter of urgency should open the desalination plant to augment the volume of water being supplied presently.
“This is the time the government should find whatever resources available to ensure that the facility is operating so it can add more water to the current supply,” he stated.
Mr. Sampson Ahi expressed misgivings about reasons for the shutdown of the plant and argued the cost element introduced by the government is not feasible. According to him, it would be unforgivable to risk even a single person dying from the coronavirus due to inadequate potable water when the facility is lying idle.
“What will be the justification for people to die because government is unable to pay for the cost of water production leading to water shortages hence people are unable to get enough potable water to observe the strict hygiene being advised?
“In the light of the Coronavirus infection government has no other justification but to engage the company that constructed the plant to start operating for the people of Nungua, Teshie, Tema and Spintex to have access to water.”
Sampson Ahi noted that the government has failed to increase the total urban water coverage of 78% the NDC government left behind because there has not been any significant investment in the water sector.
He stated that though government has started a couple of projects they have not been completed to add to the present water supply. He urged the administration to expand the existing facilities and also open those that have been shut down to ensure adequate supply of water to Ghanaians.
He urged the government to use innovative means to supply water to various institutions and areas that required them urgently as was done under the previous administration.
The Military and other security agencies and the Ghana Water Company were contracted to give water tanker services to government institutions including clinics, hospitals, prisons and schools and urged the government do same.