'We'll fix power, water problems'
The meeting, attended by executive members of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Private Newspaper Publishers Association (PRINPAG) and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), was first to discuss issues affecting the media and then talk about some issues confronting the nation.
The President also spoke about the problems confronting the water sector, saying the predicament had been occasioned by inefficiency.
Explaining plans by the government to resolve the power crisis, he said the government would achieve the 5,000 megawatts by 2016 through thermal and hydro, with the 16 mini hydro sites collectively producing 450 megawatts.
He said the power generation capacity of the Bui Dam would be increased from 400 megawatts to 800 megawatts.
Additionally, the VRA had started a pilot project on solar energy to produce two megawatts which could supply the whole of the Navrongo District, he said.
He said some investors had expressed interest in establishing huge solar plants to produce additional power.
On the current crisis, the President said power generation of 200 megawatts by the Asogli Power Company enabled the country to exceed its power supply by 100 megawatts.
However, he said, the damage of the pipelines of the West Africa Gas Company (WAPCo) compelled the Asogli Power Plant to shut down.
The situation also affected power generation by the VRA, he said.
President Mahama said WAPCo had indicated that between April and May this year it would begin the supply of gas to Ghana, saying that would enable the Asogli Power Plant to resume the generation of 220 megawatts into the system and that could effectively stop the load shedding.
He said it was the expectation of the government that the Bui Dam would come on stream before September this year.
On the water situation, President Mahama said the government would decentralise water management and distribution to ensure efficiency in distribution.
Additionally, he said, the government was generating more water and would take steps to cut down the 40 per cent waste in water supply resulting from burst pipes and illegal connections.
The President said Kpong water supply would be increased from 40 million to 80 million gallons day.
Additionally, he said, about 58 million gallons of water would be produced from the Weija Water Treatment Plant by the end of next year, saying that would do away with the shortfall in water supply in Accra.
President Mahama said the aim of the government was to change the management system of water in the country to avoid duplication.
He said the functions of the Ghana Water Company and those of Ghana Urban Water Limited had to be streamlined to ensure smooth operations in the water sector.
Story by Musah Yahaya Jafaru