A project to implement a strategic action programme for the effective management of the shared water resources in the Volta River Basin has been launched.
The project, the Volta River Basin Strategic Action Implementation (VRBSAI) which involves five countries including Ghana namely; Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire with its implementation to be expected soon and completed by 2019.
To address some challenges associated with the Volta River Basin, the Volta River Basin Authority (VRBA), the management authority of the basin, developed a five-year strategic plan in 2009, which is to be implemented by the project.
Two development partners – the World Bank and the Global Environmental Facility have provided US$10 million to the management of the VRBA, to support the effective management of the VRB.
The World Bank provided US$3million, while the Global Environmental Facility also provided US$7million, which will also be used to support the implementation of the strategic action programme.
The Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, launching the programme said it was an undeniable fact that the world was in an era where the promotion of regional and global integration was an important trigger and solution for national development.
“Against this backdrop, it is heart-warming that the government of Ghana and its riparian neighbours continue to demonstrate genuine concern to manage and develop their shared water resources by partaking in international cooperation and arrangements among and between themselves,” he said.
Dr. Agyemang-Mensah said that despite the obvious challenges of sharing the river basin, the riparian countries should be delighted that their collective efforts and cooperation had culminated in the VRBA promoting the proper management and development of the water resources.
“This cooperation has also helped to ensure equity in sharing the benefits thereof among all riparian countries,” he said.
The minister also said even though the management authority for the VRB had been provided with working principles and had established its institutional framework, it could only fulfil its mandate effectively, if it was adequately supported and strengthened technically, financially and building human resource capacity.
The acting Executive Director of VRBA, Dr. Charles Biney, called on all stakeholders in the VRBSAI project to make the project operational as soon as possible and thanked the government for accepting the authority’s request for it to host the launch.
Dr. Biney expressed the authority’s gratitude to the World Bank and the Global Environmental Facility for providing financial assistance to the project.
Mr. Ben Ampomaa, the Executive Director of the Water Resources Commission, who is also the focal person for the VRBA, said the authority was growing steadily and currently was better poised to handle the challenges the riparian countries faced in sharing the Volta River Basin.
Source: B&FT Online