The opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to allocate part of his $100 million coronavirus budget in making the Water desalination plant in Krowor operational again.

The scarcity of water in the area has become a nightmare amidst the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.

A statement issued by the the constituency chairman, Willinda Bortey Wradi said the acute water shortage within Nungua, Teshie, among others makes nonsense of the WHO safety recommendations of regular handwashing as a preventive measure against the coronavirus pandemic.

“The insensitive decision of the Akufo Addo government to shut down the desalination plant under the guise of maintenance has ushered us back into the days of adverse water rationing as announced by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) via a statement on the 3rd day of March, 2020. The question we keep asking is this, how do we practice safe and regular hand-washing in an era of water unavailability: in fact when we have such an ultra modern facility to provide the solution to take Krowor and its beneficiary towns from the list of affected communities?

“The government has cited several reasons for the shutdown of the desalination plant; key among them is the financial sustainability of running the plant. One would have thought that President Akufo Addo will commit a part of the $100million dollars earmarked for the fight against the Corona virus to make the plant functional. If it has not been thought of, then we strongly recommend that.”

OVER 500, 000 beneficiaries of the Teshie-Nungua Desalination Water Plant project are facing the full effect of water rationing following the shutdown of the Teshie Desalination Water Plant.

Due to the shutdown, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) is rationing water in the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipality, Lashibi, Adentan, Labadi, Osu, Tema and its environs, that are beneficiary communities of the project which began operation in 2015.

Below is the full statement

*PRESS RELEASE*
*18TH MARCH; 2020*

*GIVE CLEARNCE FOR THE OPERATION OF THE WATER DESALINATION PLANT IN KROWOR AND STOP MAKING PROMISES*

Good day friends of the media, fellow residents of Krowor, ladies and gentlemen.

As we all already know, the world is still struggling to cope with the devastating effects of the global pandemic caused by a corona virus outbreak which we are told was first recorded in Wuhan, China sometime in December, 2019. Since then, data available to the World Health Organization (WHO) as at Sunday 15th March, 2020 indicates that there have been 152,428 confirmed cases out of which 5,720 have been confirmed dead across 141 countries. Ghana has confirmed 6 cases as at Sunday 15th March, 2020. Friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen this is the life-threatening context we want to situate todays discussion.

Ladies and gentlemen, WHO has recommended regular hand-washing as one of the safety mechanisms against this deadly disease. It is an obvious fact that regular handwashing can only be practiced when water is readily available at all times. It was therefore very surprising when we learned of the news to ration water supply to Nungua, Teshie and other surrounding constituencies as well as other regions. This came at the same time when all of Ghana’s neighbors had recorded cases of the deadly disease. How will the people of Krowor and other residents of Accra practice the WHO’s safety recommendations against the COVID-19 in these times of acute water shortage?

We believe the decision to cut water supply is both reckless and insensitive to the plight of the people of Krowor, most especially with the presence of a water desalination plant.
I am sure you all recall the commencement of construction works on the Nungua Desalination Plant in 2012 under President John Dramani Mahama. That project saw the treatment of sea-water to produce about 60,000 cubic meters of safe water per day for over 500,000 inhabitants of Accra. The commencement of operations of the desalination plant in February 2015 brought a huge relief to residents of Krowor and its environs. It significantly improved water supply to households from just 1 day of available water per week to close to 1 full week of running taps across Krowor and Ledzokuku Constituencies.

The insensitive decision of the Akufo Addo government to shut down the desalination plant under the guise of maintenance has ushered us back into the days of adverse water rationing as announced by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) via a statement on the 3rd day of March, 2020. The question we keep asking is this, how do we practice safe and regular hand-washing in an era of water unavailability: in fact when we have such an ultra modern facility to provide the solution to take Krowor and its beneficiary towns from the list of affected communities?

The government has cited several reasons for the shutdown of the desalination plant; key among them is the financial sustainability of running the plant. One would have thought that President Akufo Addo will commit a part of the $100million dollars earmarked for the fight against the Corona virus to make the plant functional. If it has not been thought of, then we strongly recommend that.

Residents of Nungua have had to endure these past few months scavenging for water every morning and evening using the infamous ‘Kufuor gallons’ at the expense of their businesses, education and livelihoods. Anytime there is a move by the people to protest the shutdown of the plant, it has always been met with promises in various ways to get it operational.

We are therefore calling on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to as a matter of urgency initiate steps that will lead to the reopening of the desalination plant to allow production of water to resume. The lives of the people of Nungua matters as much as that of any other Ghanaian.

We are deeply disappointed at the posture of the Member of Parliament, Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye to the evident threats enumerated so far and not providing leadership that will ensure the full operation of the desalination plant. We wish to take this opportunity to remind the Member of Parliament that the people of Krowor elected her to demonstrate leadership in such difficult moments. She should take steps to ensure that residents of Nungua have access to adequate, sustainable water supply to maintain personal hygiene and upkeep while also reducing our vulnerability to the COVID-19 threat?

In conclusion, we call on all stakeholders, ie the the president through Ghana Water Company to with immediate effect give clearance for the full operationalisation of the water desalination plant.

We further call on all residents of Krowor to remain calm and stay safe in these unsettling times. We entreat them to continue practicing frequent handwashing with soap under running water using what is called the Veronica bucket, with the pipes; frequent application of alcohol-based hand sanitizers as recommended by the WHO.

The operators of the plant should equally provide public education on the safety of what has come to be know as the waste water from the plant, to residents who are using it for household chores such as washing, bathing and cleaning of utensils.

Friends from the media, we are grateful to you for your attention.

Signed:

Willinda Bortey Wradi
Constituency Chairman
Krowor
0244366945

Agnes Naa Momo Lartey
MP Aspirant – Krowor
024 4786425

Paul Afotey Quaye
Dp Const. Sec
055 721 0253

Albert Kotey
Const. Comm Off
024 642 5200

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