Major earth works on the expansion Sunyani Water Supply System are set to begin at the Abesim headwork of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in the Sunyani Municipality, this year.
The 133-million-euro project, to be executed by LR Group, and expected to be completed by November 2025, will supply regular potable drinking water to residents in the Sunyani and Sunyani West Municipalities.
On completion, the Government of Ghana funded project, anticipated to pump 12.6 million gallons of water every day, would extend potable water to parts of the Ahafo Region.
Mr Francis Agyei-Boateng, the Chief Manager, Project Planning and Development of the GWCL who disclosed this said the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the project had been completed pending approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the side-lines of a public forum on the EIA in Sunyani, Mr Agyei-Boateng said the main project started with the EIA in November 2022.
The GWCL organised the forum to disseminate and collect inputs to help tackle major challenges identified in the EIA, and was attended by traditional authorities and assembly members in the project captured areas.
Besides the Sunyani Municipality, the project would also supply water to residents of Chiraa, Fiapre, Nsoatre, Mantukwa, Dumasua, Odomase, Kwatire and some adjoining communities in the Sunyani West Municipality.
Communities such as Tanoso, Techire, Yamfo, Susuanso, Adrobaa, Afrisipakrom and their nearby settlements in the Tano North Municipality of the Ahafo Region would also benefit from the project.
Mr Agyei-Boateng mentioned noise vibration, air pollution, increased sediment loading and risk of erosion, as well as waste generation and disposal, as some of the challenges contained in the EIA, but added, the GWCL was collaborating with all stakeholders to address the potential challenges.
He said the old Sunyani water treatment plant at the Abesim head works, constructed in the 1960s, could only produce one million gallons of water a day, which was woefully inadequate due to urbanisation and rapid production growth.
Mr Agyei said several pipelines and stand pipes would be laid and mounted to extend potable drinking water into households, and called on the people to cooperate with the contractors executing the project.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister said as a necessity, the government was committed to ensure that the Ghanaian populace access uninterrupted water supply.
She, however, added rapid population growth, urbanisation, bad farming practices, and climate change were contributing to acute water shortages in the region.
The Regional Minister said the execution of the project would inconvenience communities, and, therefore, appealed to the affected communities to cooperate with the contractors and find lasting solutions to emerging challenges.
Mrs Serena Kwakye-Mintah, the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Chief Manager of the GWCL said the company was doing water rationing, saying it had drilled nine boreholes and would soon mechanize them to augment water supply efforts of the company.