Authorities is to plant 50,000 trees in three years under a 12-year partnership project‘Blue Deal’, struck with the Ghana Water Resources Commission to ensure water governance and environmental conditions within the White Volta Basin.
Other activities expected under the package are to strengthen community participation in the restoration and maintenance of the canals of the Vea dam, in the Upper East Region.
Mr Jaap Bos, the Head of the Department of Water system of the Dutch Water Authorities known as the ‘Blue Deal Project’, urged stakeholders to actively participate in the project by contributing their skills and expertise.
Mr Bos, who spoke in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the end of a one-day meeting of personnel of the new project and the Water resource Commission, said “staff of the basins were key for the solution of the challenges facing the basins and therefore would help speed up efforts at addressing water resource challenges”.
He emphasised that Blue deal was not a funding organisation, but would support short term projects through stakeholder and community participation.
He advised newly formed sub-basin committees to come up with concrete projects, assign responsibilities that would trigger members of the communities and stakeholders to be active in both the short and long-term plans under the project.
He congratulated WRC for starting the dredging exercise in the Pwalugu and Nasia Water Basins and noted that dams would also be dredged to improve some water bodies in the area.
The Dutch Water Project will ensure that the natural resources do not suffer other pollution that would warrant continuous dredging in the near future.
In an earlier presentation he made at the meeting, the team leader indicated that his outfit was made up of three water authorities including; the Ministry of water Resources, Ministry of foreign affairs and the Dutch Water Authorities aimed at helping about 30 million people in 40 catchment areas on safe water for the next 12 years in Ghana.
He said the Dutch Water Authorities had 75 years’ experience working in 40 countries including; Ghana and one of the key areas of the intervention was to ensure a well-functioning regional and national level Basin organisations and gaps in water governance to address challenges of annual flooding and access to clean and safe water.
Mr Bos said the Authority would focus on nine projects under the collaboration including; Governance, Food nexus and how to improve on food production, water governance of the white Volta, Mining and environmental issues, irrigation dams and maintenance of canals with pilot on the Vea Dam, Sanitation ,Water purification and how trans-boundary cooperation could be improved among others.
Mr Aaron Aduna, the Regional Director of the Water Resources Commission said the Blue Deal support to the WRC came at the right time, to add on to the knowledge base of the staff and help build their capacity.