The government has signed a $30-million concessional loan facility with the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of India for work to begin on the water supply expansion project for the people of Yendi in the Northern Region.
The facility will be used for the construction of a 15,000m3/day (3.3MGD) conventional water treatment plant, a 25-km transmission pipelines, water booster station and reservoirs.
The loan is expected to be repaid within 25 years at an interest rate of 1.5 per cent and a moratorium of five years.
About 133,000 people in the Yendi municipality and beyond are expected to benefit from the project which also involves the rehabilitation and extension of distribution networks, approximately 50-km.
A ceremony was held in Accra last Friday at which the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta led a government delegation to sign the loan facility.
The other government officials at the signing ceremony included the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto; the Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Mr Patrick Boamah, and other officials from some state agencies.
The Indian delegation which was led by the Indian High Commissioner, Mr Birender Singh Yadav, included a representative of the Indian Exim Bank, Mr Pushpesh Tyagi.
Mr Ofori-Atta and Mr Boamah jointly signed for Ghana while Mr Tyagi initialed for the Exim Bank of India.
The signing of the loan facility came on the heels of the successful performance of the funeral rites of the two Dagbon Overlords, Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV and Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II at which President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised to reward the residents of the Yendi municipality with a water project for allowing peace to prevail in the area.
Following that promise, the government announced on January 17, this year that Cabinet had approved the $30-million loan facility for the project.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the Yendi water expansion project was dear to the government, especially when it was a major step towards ensuring that all citizens had access to potable water by 2030 as required by the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
He stressed that the government would expedite action on the water project at Yendi to ensure that it was completed within schedule.
Mr Boamah said the signing of the loan agreement came at the right time in view of the fact that the population of the Yendi municipality had outstripped the water supply system in the area.
He added that the MSWR was committed to taking the bull by the horn to ensure that more investment was made in the water, sanitation and health (WASH) sector.
The water supply system serves the Yendi municipality and other surrounding towns and villages.
It takes its raw water from River Daka, which flows through a water treatment facility built in 1961.
As a result of the population and economic growth in the Yendi municipality, it has become necessary to expand the existing water supply system to meet the demands of beneficiary towns and communities.