The Steering Committee of the Tamale Water Fund was inaugurated on Tuesday in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale.
Members of the newly inaugurated committee include Akanyani Beata Awinpoka, Programmes Director of Afram Plains Development Organization, Joachim Ayiiwe Abungba, Principal Basin Officer for the Black Volta Basin, Nana Kofi Gyimah, Development Planning Officer-Northern Regional Planning Co-ordination unit.
The others are ING. Jacob Z. Yendor, Deputy Managing Director (Operations), Ghana Water Company Limited, Donnan Kobla Tay, Director of Water at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.
The committee’s mandate will include overseeing policy direction and guidance to the planning process of the Tamale Water Fund, hold high-level stakeholder engagements to meet financial and water security goals, facilitate the conduct of legal and institutional analysis to guide the established fund as a ‘legal entity’ among others.
The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) earlier this year partnered with some assemblies and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to establish a water fund to solve the perennial water shortage in the Tamale metropolis and its environs.
The Tamale Water Fund would create a dependable funding stream for strategic financing for nature-based restoration in the White Volta Basin. Several communities in the Northern Region continue to suffer from acute water shortage each year especially during the dry season where major sources of water like dams dry up.
Speaking at the inauguration of the steering committee, Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu, said water is increasingly becoming scarce in the area.
He noted that the Ghana Water Company Limited currently produces 28,000, 000m3, lower than the demand of 60,000m3 by residents.
The Minister added that the company also loses 27 per cent of treated water instead of 5 per cent for backwashing and dislodging processes due to the high turbidity of raw water.
In a speech read on behalf of the Country Representative of CRS, Daniel Mumuni, Head of Program, Carolyn Edlebeck said the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey carried out in 2017 and 2018 indicated that access to basic drinking water in Northern Region stands at 50 per cent.
“This contradicts the principles of the fundamental right of all people which seek to achieve access to safe and adequate water to meet basic human needs as expressed in the National Water Policy,” Ms Elebeck read.
She said the main water security risk affecting access to safe and adequate water in the metropolis is the siltation of the White Volta River, resulting from widespread sand mining, agricultural expansion, gold mining upstream flooding and climate change.
Ms Elebeck said these water security risks have resulted in a perennial shortage of water to the area. She said CRS, GWCL and the Nature Conservancy (TNC) are committed to collaborating with key stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of communities and their environment.
“We share a commitment to work with traditional leaders, landowners, communities to identify and resolve conservation challenges within the local economy including finding lasting solutions to san mining activities particularly within the intake point of water supply to Tamale at Nawuni” she said.