Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the maker of the Statement for drawing our attention to this issue. I
motorway and have felt the same way as the maker of the Statement. But for me I want to say that in doing the structural changes to the motorway, we should not do anything that would end up making the motorway another “Spintex Road”. They should ensure that the congestion that we have on the other roads is not transferred onto the motorway.
So I want to suggest that parallel roads should be constructed on both sides of the motorway. In doing so we would take care of access roads and also ensure that congestion is not transferred from the other roads onto the motorway.
With this short addition, I thank you and I thank the maker of the Statement.
Majority Leader/Minister for Parlia- mentary Affairs/Acting Minister for Road Transport (Mr. F. K. Owusu- Adjapong): Mr. Speaker, let me assure my hon. Colleague, the Minority Leader, that first I was aware of this Statement and that I was also hearing all that he was saying except that he wanted me to look at his face.
Mr. Speaker, I take what have been given as useful pieces of advice which the Ministry should take into account, should money be available, to implement some of the numerous suggestions given to the Ministry in solving the problem along the motorway.
Mr. Speaker, definitely in this day and age, there are lot of technical ways of solving the problem -- interchange, access road, overhead, all those sort of things. But the bottom-line is the ability to pay. Therefore, it is my hope that next time around, hon. Colleague Members of Parliament would increase the allocation of resources given to the Ministry.
In the 2007 Budget we were given 54 per cent of the money required to do
what have been identified and concluded as the needed projects for the country. Perhaps, we had no choice but to share the money fairly and equitably, that is why the Ministry got 54 per cent.
It therefore means we all need to work hard enough as a country and as a nation to increase the resources available so that it would not only be this road we would be taking up but even doing another road to improve the Spintex Road and other such roads. There is supposed to be a 4-kilometre road off the Spintex Road which when done would perhaps prevent people who try to do those short-cuts. Definitely, we should not also allow this to make us conclude that people should not be law abiding. It is because there are problems that is why we have made these laws.
So long as we have not been able to secure the funds to provide what is the best alternative, we should not be seen or heard suggesting that the police should start giving up and therefore should not be enforcing the law.
I hope we would encourage them to enforce the law as it is now as we search for more money to develop not only access roads to the motorway but also access roads to all other places. There are places that are maybe suffering more than this; for example if you use Navrongo-Wa road, you would then say that we should go there first before we come to look at this motorway.
World Water Day
Mr. Samuel Johnfiah (NPP --
Ahanta West): Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to make
Tomorrow, Mr. Speaker, is the World Water Day and Ghana will join the rest of the world in celebrating this important occasion. Upon the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the 22nd of March every year is observed as World Day for Water, a day in which the world's attention is focused on critical issues relating to the conservation and development of fresh water resources.
The 2007 World Water Day is being co-ordinated by the Food and Agricultural Organization under the theme “Coping with Water Scarcity”. With population growth and economic development, the problem of water scarcity becomes more acute. The crisis is reaching global dimension and requires action at all levels to address the problem.
The theme for this year offers an opportunity to reflect on the subject and promote active participation by everybody in addressing this global challenge. It must be mentioned that water scarcity issues and the way they are addressed will affect the successful achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The eradication of poverty and hunger in the rural areas is related closely to fair and equitable access for the most vulnerable people to basic livelihood assets, including land and water for domestic and productive uses. Water scarcity management is also crucial to achieving the goals of environmental sustainability. Today, agriculture accounts for 70 per cent of all water used globally, and up to 95 per cent in several developing countries including Ghana.
Water is critical for our socio-economic development and also essential for life and the proper functioning of the environment.
It is probably the most important indicator of the quality of our environment. Unfortunately, water resources in this country have been taken for granted, misused and poorly managed at all levels.
The identified causes for the decrease in quantity include the indiscriminate clearing of vegetation along water bodies, especially rivers during the dry season and the improper use of land for agriculture along river banks resulting in erosion, leading to siltation of the river channel. Water quality considerations have become increasingly important due to environmental problems arising from human activities leading to land degradation, waste discharges from domestic, municipal, industrial (including mining) and agricultural sources into rivers and aquifers.
There is the need to raise the issue of water management to the highest level by beginning to develop a higher sense of belonging within our communities. As a nation, we need to free our women and children from the daily burden of walking great distances in search of water. Such time and effort could be better spent on education and other economic and community improvement projects. Educating women and other vulnerable groups in water resources issues will advance progress in the efficient use of the resource and thus reduce water- borne diseases and alleviate poverty. Furthermore, we need to improve the efficiency of our irrigation systems by encouraging water-use efficiency techniques to increase food production.
One of such techniques is to promote the message, “more crop per drop”. In addition, we need to emphasize and improve on the potential sources of water to complement our traditional surface and