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The Eastern Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong has said he will pursue some 13 million cedis cash locked up in an escrow account for the people of Krobo for water expansion and other developments in the area.
The 13 million Ghana cedis in the escrow account comes from royalty limestone being mined in Odugblase, however, the fund is inaccessible due to misunderstanding between Yilo and Manya Krobo traditional councils.
Addressing a stakeholder forum by the Ghana Water Company Limited in Somanya, the Minister said part of the amount would be used to improve water supply in the Krobo area.
”13 million Ghana Cedis (Ghc 13million) is lying in Krobo escrow account and Krobos cannot access it because we are fighting ourselves and hurting ourselves. Our resource [Limestone at Odugblase] is being taken away and we are not benefitting from it. I am determined as Regional Minister to get Kroboland to access that fund. I’m serious about it. I Will do it. The water system that we are waiting for government to come and do it, we will use that money to come and develop it and take the revenue and use that revenue generated for other uses,” the Minister said.
Eastern Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong who is also Chairman of the Regional Security Council said the tension on grounds was building up and if unchecked could lead to local unrest hence the stakeholder’s forum to listen to the concerns of the people and find both short- and long-term solutions.
He, however, cautioned residents against obstructing workers of GWCL from accessing meters to collect water bills and disconnect over nonpayment of bills.
Residents in the Krobo area have been agitating that despite hosting two major water treatment installations -Kpong and Bukunor Water treatment plants on their lands, water is ironically being pumped and serving other parts of the country including Tema, Afienya, Koforidua, and Akyem Tafo while many communities including surrounding communities at the water treatment plants grapple with water stress situation.
Few of the areas that have been connected to the treated water say water supply is erratic. Residents in Lower and Yilo Krobo Municipalities are therefore seething with anger describing the situation as unfair treatment. Some have even decided not to pay water bills and are calling for the resignation of the Management of Ghana Water Company Limited in the area.
“if you are telling me there is no water when I can see the water and you are telling me that the money is here but we cannot bring it here then I will start chasing you. Because the thing there is for me and you are supposed to bring to me and you are saying there is no water, I can’t be patient. I don’t think we will be patient listening to promises. They are saying that Tema people will not agree for the pipelines to be tapped to supply us look at the nonsense. Their line too is on my land and you are saying that you will not agree. Krobos to the men are all silent, I bet you if you get me five of my type, tomorrow we will just tap that line. Then we will look at what Tema People will do to us on a pipe that serve them from my land. Water is a right not a privilege, “ Ebenezer Tei Narteh, Assembly Member for Otorkpolu Electoral area told Starr News.
Assembly Member for Kpong Ahodzo Electoral Area where the biggest water treatment plant in Ghana is located, Raymond Kofi Elikplim said, “It is very painful that you have water and you are thirsty. It is inhumane We of Somanya having water challenges have complained for over a decade. Water is being pumped daily from Akorley to Akuapem ranges and they have water almost every day at Adukrom onwards to Akropong and those of us at Somanya don’t have water. So, we requested the manager of GWCL can we be connected to that line, he said no, can we also be connected to Tema line on Akuse junction, the district manager said no it cannot be done”.
The Eastern Regional Chief Manager Engineer Asomani Nyarko acknowledged the deficit in the water supply in the Krobo bloc stating that some investments are required to improve distribution. He however said, a better water management plan has been rolled out to ration water supply in the area.
He however lamented that the high rate of illegal connections is impeding the smooth flow of water to various homes.
Meanwhile, a group on Kroboland call Kloma Hengme has kicked against the suggestion by the Eastern Regional Minister to use money in escrow account of Krobos to improve water supply in the area. According to the group, provision of water is a basic responsibility of government adding that usage of the amount should not be dictated to by any external party.
The Stakeholder meeting was stranded by Chiefs, Assembly Members, Opinion leaders, Political representatives, MCEs for both Municipalities, the clergy among others.
Source:Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/Kojo Ansah