Don’t allow development on GWCL pipelines – Minister

Gbetsiley (GAR), – Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources on Friday directed District Assemblies not to give permits to people to build on water transmission pipelines.

Madam Dapaah said allowing people to encroach on the pipelines was a disaster in waiting as people could lose their lives should the underground pipes they had built own burst with water gushing out.

The Sanitation Minister gave the directive during an inspection of the ongoing repair works of the 42 inches diameter transmission pipelines at Gbetseley in the Kpone-Katamanso Municipality.

It came out that some structures were erected on the pipelines which transmit water from Kpong to Tema, a situation that often delays maintenance work as some of them had to be demolished to give way.

She said it was the responsibility of the assemblies to check such encroachments saying “we have to work with the assembly; they give the permit for people to build so if it is unauthorized, they have every right to demolish so we get the chance to serve Ghanaians with the needed water”.

Dr Clifford Braimah, Managing Director of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), said the company had complained about such encroachment as they were not clothed with the power to demolish such structures.

Dr Braimah reiterated the need for the assemblies to enforce their bylaws on development on service lines to avoid such developments, adding that they could only report the issue to the relevant institution.

“GWCL is incapacitated to be able to do those activities. It is not in our remit to do so. We can only report to the Assembly to do so,” he said.

He said the management had the plan to use a drone to locate all the structures on the transmission lines and inform the assemblies for action.

Mr Solomon Tettey Appiah, Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Chief Executive, responding to the directive from the Minister explained that the encroachment happened before the creation of the Municipal Assembly, however, he was ready to take some actions on it.

Mr Appiah said a stakeholder engagement would start immediately with GWCL to identify those structures constructed on the pipelines.

“We would then engage the affected developers and find the best way to get them off,” he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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