Fix Tamale water challenges

Fix Tamale water challenges

Once again, residents of Tamale, Sagnarigu and other parts of the Northern Region are bedevilled with inadequate water supply.


The metropolis and surrounding communities have suffered from the perennial shortage of water over some decades now, and there seems to be no end in sight.

This is because, the annual ritual of carrying receptacles around for water, especially during this period of the year, has not received the appropriate response from successive governments, apart from some stopgap measures that did not offer the needed solution.

On the back page of the February 27,2024, issue of the Daily Graphic, we published yet another disturbing story of some residents struggling with animals to get water from a dam as a result of inadequate supply by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).

Hundreds of people are seen daily with various sizes of receptacles, some on motorbikes, tricycles, bicycles and in vehicles searching for water from nearby dams, dug-outs and other sources.

Also, water tanker services have become difficult to access as the drivers have to stay in long queues for many hours at water supply points to be served.

Apart from the resultant health implications, collapse of businesses and financial burden to residents, the prevailing situation also compels some workers and schoolchildren to report late to work and school respectively.

The most hit communities are Fuo, Kukuo, Chanshegu, Kpawomo, Dugyili, Taha, Sagnarigu-Kukuo, Koblimahigu, Jakarayili, Zujung, and Dohini.

As part of efforts to draw attention to the challenges, on February 13, 2014, the Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, on February 13, 2014, demanded urgent action to address the situation.

In a statement on the floor of Parliament, the former Minority Leader said the prevailing situation had put hospitals, schools and other facilities under significant stress.

It is in this light that the Daily Graphic will like to add its voice to appeals by the residents for the government and other stakeholders to find a lasting solution to this perennial challenge to give respite to the people and also attract businesses to the area because they must be assured of constant flow of water.

In the interim, we urge the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to ensure fairness in the rationing of water, especially in the hard-hit communities.

We also call on the Chiefs and people of Dalun, in collaboration with the Northern Regional Security Council, to help protect the water source at Dalun from unscrupulous sand winners whose activities are said to be polluting the raw water, thus, making its treatment cumbersome and more expensive.

It is also refreshing to learn that the GWCL plans to drill and mechanise boreholes to augment the limited water supplied to residents. The company has also pledged to replace its obsolete equipment, as well as dredge the River Dakar, the main source of water for Yendi and its environs as a stopgap measure, while efforts are made to embark on water expansion projects in Tamale and Yendi.

These measures were announced by the Managing Director of the GWCL, Dr Clifford Braimah, during his recent visit to assess the situation in Tamale, and gave the assurance that contractors had already moved to site to commence work on those projects to bring some relief to the people.

We can only hope that the promise by the MD would see the light of day because many of such pledges were made in the past but yielded very little results. In July 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for expansion works on the Tamale and Yendi water projects.

The Tamale water supply project, estimated to cost about $224 million, which was to be funded by the UK Export Finance and the Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, was expected to produce 29.7 million gallons of water per day.

A similar sod-cutting was done in Yendi for work on the Yendi Water Supply project which was to be financed with a $30 million facility from the India Exim Bank to provide 15,000 cubic metres of water daily for the municipality and surrounding communities.

However, four years down the lane, the projects are yet to commence.

Dr Braimah attributed the delay to the country’s economic challange, coupled with the Ghana’s programme with the IMF. 


Whatever the case may be, we hope alternative sources of funding would be secured to ensure the projects see the light of day sooner rather than later.

The people have suffered for far too long, and they certainly deserve better!

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