Gov’t secures loan for 9,000 housing units

Government has secured a loan of $400 million from Credit Suisse and Barclays Bank for the construction of 9,120 housing units. 

The loan will be disbursed to Construtora OAS Limited for the construction of 5,000 housing units at a cost of $200 million and Italconstruct International Limited for the construction of 4,120 units with different designs and specifications, also at a cost of $200 million.

Ghana's housing deficit currently stands at 1.7 million units. To be able to address the deficit and accommodate new households, there is the need for a minimum annual delivery of about 85,000 units over a period of 20 years.

The Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda, outlined measures being taken by the government to address the housing deficit and water supply shortage when the ministry took its turn at the meet-the-press series in Accra yesterday.

Alhaji Dauda said the government had finalised an agreement with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to complete the affordable housing units at Borteyman in the Greater Accra Region, Asokore-Mampong in the Ashanti Region, Koforidua in the Eastern Region, Tamale in the Northern Region and Wa in the Upper West Region.

He said the State Housing Company Limited was also working on five blocks of 72 units at Borteyman and was currently about 90 per cent complete.

On water supply, Alhaji Dauda said the government had been able to improve urban and rural water supply by 63 per cent and 64 per cent, respectively.

Urban water supply in 2012 was about 58.4 per cent of the national coverage, while rural water supply was 56.5 per cent.

Alhaji Dauda said in 2009, the government set itself the target to increase coverage of urban water to 85 per cent and rural water to 76 per cent by 2015 through a number of interventions.

Water demand in the Greater Accra Region alone currently stands at 150 million gallons. The Kpong and the Weija treatment plants, the major reservoirs for the region, however, produce 93 million gallons daily. Weija produces 53 million gallons, while Kpong generates 40 million gallons a day.

To address the shortfall, Alhaji Dauda indicated that various ongoing projects expected to produce an additional 65.3 million gallons of water daily were on course, with most scheduled for completion next year.

Among the projects are the 3.3-million gallon daily water treatment plant at Kpong, the 40-million gallon water treatment plant, also at Kpong, and a 13 million-gallon sea water desalination plant at Teshie-Nungua.

"The total production of potable water in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) will improve from 93 million gallons daily to 158.3 million gallons daily,” he said.

Meanwhile, the projected water demand for GAMA by 2015, according to Alhaji Dauda, was 158 million gallons daily.

The minister said there were similar water projects scattered across the country which, when completed, would considerably address the national water shortfall.

Among others, he mentioned the Konongo water system that would produce 3.6 millions of gallons daily on completion and the Kumawu water system that would produce 3.5 millions of gallons daily.

Alhaji Dauda explained that the Kumasi water project was meant to expand the Barekese water treatment plant, now producing six million gallons a day, to 30 million gallons a day.

The Kumasi project, which is on course, is being executed with a 24-million euro loan.

Concerning rural water supply, the minister said the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) had dug 844 boreholes and fitted them with hand pumps.