The Catholic Relief Services (CRS), in partnership with the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TaMA), is to establish the Tamale Water Fund to address water supply and sanitation challenges in the Metropolis and its environs.
The Sagnarigu Municipal Assembly, Ghana Water Company Limited and other key stakeholders in the water supply value chain are supporting the establishment of the fund through the CRS’ Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Resilience Project.
The Water Fund aims at protecting water sources at the Nawuni sub-catchment of the White Volta River by developing a sustainable development pathway within the basin.
This was made known at a stakeholders’ meeting, organised by the CRS in Tamale, to discuss effective strategies to meet the set goals.
Madam Christina Gallagher, the Acting Head of Programmes at CRS, said: “Human activities are destroying the White Volta River, which is the main source of water supply to Tamale Metropolitan Area…and the area is faced with extreme water scarcity and significant challenges…”
“The White Volta River is currently experiencing high levels of siltation mainly due to sand mining activities in and along its banks, increased agricultural practices, and gold mining upstream”.
She said the overall goal of the Water Fund was to utilise nature-based solutions to improve on both the quality and supply of water and mitigate the impact of natural disasters as well as create a healthy living environment to protect and enhance biodiversity within the White Volta Basin.
Alhaji Alhassan Saibu Shani, the Northern Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, lauded the CRS and its partners for taking steps to address water security and sanitation challenges in Tamale and its environs.
He said: “The setting up of the Tamale Water Fund would be important to keeping our watersheds and aquifers in order to ensure sustained supply of water.”
Dr Philip Darko, the WASH Consultant at CRS, called on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and other authorities to collaborate to regulate and control sand mining, through permit or licensing systems, to reduce activities affecting water resources.