Gov’t woos private sector

The government is seeking support from the private sector to enable it to complete a 1,030-flat affordable housing project at Asokore-Mampong in the Ashanti Region.

The Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr Kwaku Agyemang Mensah, said this on a tour of the housing project site at Ayigya. He said the project began in 2006 and the government currently requires GH¢120 million to get it completed.

According to him, the project, which is presently at a 60 per cent stage of construction, could not be finished because of lack of resources, which is why the government is seeking intervention from the private sector.

Although he commended the past government for initiating the project, he wondered how such a monumental project could be built using funds generated internally.

He said despite the fact that negotiations were still ongoing with two private firms that had so far expressed interest in helping to get the project completed, the government still had its doors open.

The minister charged the district assembly to warn squatters occupying the building not to do anything that would cause unnecessary delays when work on the building resumed. When completed, the project, situated on a 50-acre land, would have apartments of one, two and three bedrooms.

In another development, the minister visited the Barekese Dam which supplies water to nearly 80 per cent of residents in Kumasi. Dr Agyemang Mensah expressed worry about the increasing rate of encroachment on the dam’s buffer zone.

He was amazed at the actions of certain unscrupulous persons who had felled trees that were supposed to provide shade and protection for the dam as well as hold back sand from silting it.

Dr Agyemang Mensah said following discussions with the Ashanti Regional Security Council, the military had been tasked to patrol the buffer zone to ward off encroachers.

The chief manager in charge of projects in Ashanti for the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Mr Francis Kwesi Awotwe said there were two factors leading to the fast deterioration of the dam.

The first, he said, was the activities of illegal chainsaw operators who were depleting the forest cover and the second was encroachment by estate developers who were also interfering with watercourses leading to siltation in the dam.

He said due to galamsey operations around the Nkwankwaa village, the rivers that fed the dam had become turbid, thereby impeding the flow of the water. He added that their activities were causing serious structural damage to the facility and threatened its lifespan.

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