Parliament has approved a loan of €74.15 million to finance the Tarkwa Water Supply Project in the Western Region.
The facility is made up of €65 million for the commercial contract and associated insurance of €9.15 million as export credit guarantee.
The project is to expand access to potable water for the inhabitants of Tarkwa and its adjoining communities by expanding the capacity of the existing Bonsa water supply system and extend access to adjoining communities.
It will expand the capacity of the existing water supply system from 2,800 cubic metres per day to 27,000 cubic metres per day to meet the present demand of 15,000 cubic metres, as well as the projected water demand for the municipality until 2040.
The motion for the approval of the loan was moved by the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Kwaku Kwarteng, and seconded by the Ranking Member of the committee, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson.
Mr Kwarteng, who read the committee’s report before the approval of the loan facility, said after careful examination of the agreement, the committee was convinced that the facility, when approved, would help expand access to water in Tarkwa and its catchment areas.
Dr Forson, in his submission, said although the terms and conditions of the loan were favourable, the problem was with the insurance component.
He, therefore, asked the government to work on the insurance component to ensure value for money.
The ranking member further said the high insurance premium covering the loan was a result of the low credit rating of the country on the international market and proposed to the government to put in place policies and programmes to address the situation.
Contributing to the motion, the Chairman of the Committee on Works and Housing, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, said the intention of the government to secure the credit facility was to expand the water supply system in Tarkwa to address the gaps in water supply and demand in Tarkwa and its surrounding communities.
The project, he said, was in pursuit of the government’s policy to ensure access to potable water for all by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal Six.
Mr Asiamah said the existing Bonsa water treatment plant, which was constructed in the 1970s, had not been rehabilitated and expanded to meet the ever-increasing water demand of the supply area and, therefore, members of the House must approve the loan for the project to take off.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, who is the MP for Takoradi, for his part, said the project would be a game changer in water supply for the people of Tarkwa and its environs.
He said Tarkwa was the capital of the Tarkwa Nsuaem municipality in the Western Region, with a population of about 90,477.
The municipality was expected to experience rapid population growth as Tarkwa continued to discover a greater potential for socio-economic growth.
He said the expansion in the water supply system would help address the current demand for potable water and beyond