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€55 MILLION KUMASI ROADS UPGRADE, WATER PROJECT GET CABINET APPROVAL IN NOVEL PRIVATE-STATE PARTNERSHIP

General News

Certain towns and areas in the Ashanti Region are to benefit from a €55 million facility for a 100-kilometre road infrastructure rehabilitation project.

Certain towns and areas in the Ashanti Region are to benefit from a €55 million facility for a 100-kilometre road infrastructure rehabilitation project.

The facility, which has received cabinet approval, is a credit agreement between Ghana and Deutsche Bank. There is also a commercial agreement between the Ministry of Roads and a construction firm, Contracta Construction UK, for implementation of the project.

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, made this known at a press briefing in Accra yesterday.

From A to T: Asokwa via Kwadaso to Tafo

According to the Minister, the €55m facility is meant to improve auxiliary infrastructure through Kumasi’s inner-city road network, in accordance with the government’s recognition of good infrastructure “as a critical facilitator for rapid socio-economic development”.

“It is our hope that the completion of these projects will reduce and improve waiting and travel times within the Kumasi metropolis, with a consequent reduction in poverty and enhanced development in our dear nation,” the Minister said.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah disclosed that the work to be undertaken for the projects includes rehabilitation of 13.23 kilometres of roads in Bantama, 11.6 kilometres in Kwadaso, 8.98 kilometres in Manhyia, 10.61 kilometres in Oforikrom and just over 12 kilometres in Suame.

The other sub-projects are Subin (13.25 kilometres), Asokwa (11.25 kilometres), Nhyiaeso (10.13 kilometres) and Tafo Pankrono (8.96 kilometres).

Road safety measures

In addition to these roads, several other crucial activities will take place under the government’s Priority Road Infrastructure Projects programme, the Minister said.

They include rehabilitation and upgrading of selected roads, provision of traffic management and pedestrian safety facilities, including road markings, traffic signs, traffic control devices and rehabilitation of drainage facilities.

After Parliament’s consideration and approval, the Information Minister said, “The project is expected to be completed within a period of 24 months from the commencement date.”

Responding to questions whether this project falls under the US$2 billion SinoHydro deal, Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained that it is a separate debt facility whose estimates were included in the 2019 Budget under Ghana’s debt financing arrangements.

The SinoHydro deal projects will commence with the Tamale Interchange this month, the Minister said.

Potable water for 450 communities

Similarly, cabinet has approved implementation of a peri-urban and rural water supply project for 450 communities across four regions.

“The project will provide clean drinking water to these peri-urban and rural locations across the following regions ‒ Ashanti, Volta, Eastern and Greater Accra Regions ‒ using advanced UK technology,” the Minister said.

The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, in conjunction with the UK-based Aqua Africa Ltd, a private company, have been working together on a market-based approach to provide sustainable, clean, sterile drinking water to communities in Ghana.

“The government is embarking on this project as part of measures to attain the Sustainable Development Goal 6 on clean water and sanitation for all and to cater for the underserved, hard-to-reach rural population,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.

“It is also to improve strategy in enhancing delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.”

Innovation in finance and technology

The Information Minister said the government’s adaptation of the concept of transformation employs innovative technology and financing methods to generate revenue for maintenance and future expansion projects.

“The [water supply] project will be executed within 18 months and comprise a cashless payment and data collection system integrated within it to ensure that revenue is easily captured, managed and secured, in advance of all water distribution,” he said.

“The implementation of this project,” the Minister added, “will maximise social and health benefits such as clean, safe and reliable water supply, improvement in school attendance and reduction in water-borne diseases.”

It will also improve access to reliable supplies of potable water throughout the year, “with 225,000 people taken out of water poverty from the first project”.