The Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Dr Clifford Braimah, has revealed that the Republic of Togo has attempted to lay claim to the Volta Lake.
He said the claim stems from Ghana’s uncompromising position in talks over the Sogakofe-Lome Trans-boundary Water Supply Project.
Dr Braimah made the disclosure, when he appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, in Accra, Monday, July 24, 2023, to respond to audit findings in the Auditor-General’s audit report on public boards, corporations and other statutory institutions, for the period ended December 31, 2021.
He indicates that though negotiations between the two countries regarding the project have not been forthcoming as expected, both Ghana and Togo have been trying to arrive at a consensus before the project take-off.
“The Togolese want to push all the risk (associated with the project) on the people of Ghana, but they are taking a greater portion, 85 per cent, of water to be produced. They wanted to take raw water and treat (themselves); and we say we can’t take raw water and pass communities along the line without them being connected,” Dr Braimah said.
He told Parliament “we want to treat water at Sogakofe and evacuate to Lome so that people along the line can also benefit.
“They even want to lay claim to the resource itself that we own the Volta together and cannot put charges on them, but we feel that the water that is coming is from Burkina Faso.
So these are the issues we are battling with. The lawyers are sitting with them and we are getting somewhere. It is very slow but we are hoping that reasoning will prevail,” he stated.
The GWCL MD said his outfit would negotiate the best deal for Ghana, including the financial consideration, because “Ghanaians will not forgive us if we sit down and allow that to happen and we don’t get a good deal”.
The Sogakofe-Lome Trans-boundary Water Supply Project is intended to transfer treated water from Sogakofe in the Volta region to the Togolese capital, Lome, which was estimated to cost US$110 million in 2005.
Meanwhile, the provision of water for the Northern and Savannah regional capitals, –Tamale and Damongo — and their environs, according to Dr. Braimah has delayed due to financial constraints.
He said the paper works for the release of the US$49 million project have been completed with all the documents currently with the Deutsche Bank.
The company, on its own, however, he said was developing an artesian well, which has been drilled in 2015 to treat water for the people of Damongo.
He said the plan was to develop a big treatment plant at Yapei on the White Volta and redistribute water to Tamale and Damongo.