Debates of 23 May 2007

PRAYERS 10 a.m.


Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order! Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 22nd May, 2007 -- Pages 1- 9?
Mr. E. K. Bandua 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, at
page 9 -- Attendance of Members to Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parlia-mentary Affairs. I was captured under “In Attendance” instead of being captured under, membership of the committee.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
You are a member?
Right. Correction will be made. Hon. Members, we have the Official Report for Thursday, 17th May -- Majority Leader.
Majority Leader/Minister for
Parliamentary Affairs (Mr. F. K. Owusu-Adjapong): Mr. Speaker, perhaps, I would suggest that my hon. Colleague maybe discusses with his leadership on this matter so that we resolve it later on because it looks like the Clerk's Office is having a bit of a problem.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Biakoye, I hope you will take note accordingly. You will resolve this matter with the leadership as to your membership. Hon. Members, we have two Official Reports - for Thursday, 17th May, 2007 and Friday, 18th May 2007. Item 3 -- the

Minister is not in at the moment; is he?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
he just spoke to me. He says he is downstairs and that was why I was looking back to find out whether he is in.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Is the Chairman of the
Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in the House? We want to lay the Papers.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Member, do you
want us to take something out of turn?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 10 a.m.
Yes Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Which one?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
I just heard of it. I have
not received the motion at all. In fact, I did tell the Deputy Minority Leader when he mentioned it to me. I do not have it.
Deputy Minority Leader (Mr. E. K.
D. Adjaho): Mr. Speaker, I spoke to you this morning, as you indicated, and my own investigations have revealed that it has not been brought to your attention. There was a problem somewhere and I have been informed by the Table Office that they will rectify it today. In fact, we are hoping that under Order 49 of the rules, it will be put on the Order Paper for tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
It can be resolved outside. May we take item -- 5 -- Laying of Papers? Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
PAPERS 10 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Item 3 -- Questions.
Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing. Question No. 677 -- Hon. John Gyetuah.



Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing (Mr. Hackman Owusu- Agyemang) 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, reconnaissance survey has been made by the Hydrological Services Department to the various locations and the problems have been
identified. The Hydrological Services Department is following up with detailed survey and detailed engineering designs and would advise the Ministry on the total cost of the projects for work to begin early next year.
Mr. Gyetuah 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, according
to the hon. Minister, reconnaissance survey has been made by the Hydrological Services Department at the various locations, as indicated in the Question. I want to find out from the hon. Minister what caused the delay since he directed the Hydrological Services Department, with a letter dated 10th April 2006, to inspect the locations and submit the report for his perusal and action.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I did request them to undertake the survey. But sometimes, staff strength, resources are not available, so as and when budgetary resources became available they were able to start their activities. At least, they have started and there is hope that we will be able to get some financing with the next year budget to begin, or maybe a virement in our budgetary line to see whether we can tackle that problem.
Mr. Gyetuah 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want
to find out from the hon. Minister the nature of the problems identified by the Hydrological Services Department.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I am sure my hon. Friend would understand that until and unless I receive the report I will not be in a position to tell or describe in detail the nature of the problem, apart from the generality that erosion is taking place there. The detailed nature we will make available to him once the report is submitted, which I have still not received.
Mr. Gyetuah 10:10 a.m.
I want to find out from the hon. Minister when the recon- naissance survey was made.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do not have information on precisely when it started, I will provide that to the hon. Member in due course.
Ms. Akua S. Dansua 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
the hon. Minister in his response orally said the project will hopefully begin early next week. Meanwhile, in the Answer in the Order Paper for today, the word “hopefully” is not there; so which one is the actual response? Should we take the oral response as the truth or the Answer in the Order Paper?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I would like to believe that my hon. Friend is aware that what the hon. Minister says in this House is what goes into the Hansard, the record; and that is what I must be held to. That was why I said “hopefully” because I do not want to be taken on. If for any reason, next year, I do not get the budgetary resources I do not expect hon. Akua Dansua to come to me and say “you said it would begin”.
So out of the abundance of caution I was trying to hedge by saying, “hopefully, God willing it will be done”.
Communities in Amenfi West Constituency (Water Systems)
Q. 678. Mr. John Gyetuah asked the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing when the following communities in the Amenfi West constituency would be provided with small town water systems: (i) Samreboi, (ii) Asankran Breman, (iii) Wasa Dunkwa, (iv) Kwabeng, (v) Asankran , Moseaso, (vi) Asankran Saa.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the provision of potable water to rural communities and small towns is based on a demand responsive approach whereby communities through their District Assemblies apply for project grants to

improve their water supply situation. Currently in the Western Region, there are two ongoing small town water supply projects funded by IDA of the World Bank and the European Union. In the Amenfi West constituency, Asankran Breman has been selected to benefit from the IDA project.

Mr. Speaker, the Community Water

and Sanitation Agency is considering other non-traditional sources of funding through the private sector to meet the demand for small towns water supply in areas surrently not covered.
Mr. Gyetuah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, under the small towns water supply project, Asankran Breman has been selected to benefit from the IDA programme. I want to find out from the hon. Minister, the role a beneficiary community is supposed to play in the execution of the project.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, traditionally, the District Assemblies would apply through the Ministry for assistance in this regard, and this will be factored into our programme. The communities are supposed to provide 5 per cent of the total amount once the project funds are approved. But this has been a very contentious point. My personal stand is that the affected communities, if they cannot afford it, it should be absorbed by the state or one agency or the other.
So the rules are quite simple. Make your needs known and then we will be able to assist you. What is important is that we cannot do all the constituencies or communities at the same time because coming from the low 37 per cent water coverage in the rural sector, we are now at 56 per cent and it takes a bit of time to satisfy the whole community. Indeed, even under the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) and the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II) targets,
even by the year 2015 we would hopefully have covered something like 85 per cent; there will still be 15 per cent of our compatriots who would have no easy access to potable water.
But I think that the communities are also encouraged to participate in the planning processes and to make their demands known. We are aware of the gamut of demands that come to us on a near daily basis. It is a matter of having the resources to respond to these.
Mr. Gyetuah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, so far as I am concerned, the communities listed have applied to the Amenfi West District Assembly for small towns water supply project. By the hon. Minister's answer, is he suggesting that the Amenfi West District Assembly has not submitted an application to his outfit?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I did not say so. I demand responses. There must be the resources to cater for them. And I said on a near daily basis we get plenty of demands. It is a function of how much resources we have available and how we distribute them evenly across the country. So it is not as if that we can respond to each and every demand. They have made the demand, yes, but we have not found the resources to attend to them.
I believe if I have understood his question well, then that is his answer.
Mr. Gyetuah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, other communities that would not be covered by the IDA or the European Union would be taken over by traditional sources of funding. In the Amenfi West constituency, especially in the Samreboi area, last year, in a village
called Sefwi, two people got drowned in the River Tano when they were going to fetch water. It is very dangerous to the people in the area.
I want to find out from the hon. Minister, whether he has an immediate programme like boreholes and others which will actually be better for those communities.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I did say “non-traditional sources”. I did not say “traditional sources”. Mr. Speaker, one life lost is one life too many for us. It is unfortunate that some people lost their lives trying to look for water. But the stark reality is that the resources are as yet not available. As I said, we sink quite a lot of boreholes in a year but the demand is so much that we are not able to cover the entire country; and indeed, realistically, we will not be able to cover the entire country. So as and when resources become available we will do that.
As of now, for example, 94 per cent of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency budget is donor-funded. Government only provides six per cent. Even then, it is very difficult to get the six per cent. So you can understand that once we do not get these resources, we are not able to do the necessary interventions.
So it has been brought to our notice and we are working on it. Survey is being done and in the fullness of time we will be able to address the needs. Every constituency and hon. Member in this House has a problem of water in his or her constituency and we are trying to address them as best as we can. Indeed, the interventions have been quite impressive. Unfortunately, from a low of where we are coming from, it takes a bit of time; a bit of patience will do. It is not lost on us the
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:10 a.m.

importance of this and we would do that. I hope I am clear.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Answer printed on the Order Paper, the hon. Minister is clear and, in fact, he repeated it on the floor that they are sourcing funds from the private sector and from non- traditional sources and so we are ruling out the donors that we know, the GTZ, the European Union, the IDA, DANIDA, et cetera. I want to know who owns the small water facility in those small towns if the funding is from the private sector. I want him to tell the House.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, each and every situation will inform what kind of arrangement you put in place. For now, it cannot be said on a wholesale basis that the private intervention will own the facility. We shall take it on a case by case basis. In most instances, for rural water it is gratis. They only pay for the amount of water they take so that we can use that to maintain the facility. So it would be on a case by case basis as to what arrangements are put in place.
Mr. Adjaho 10:20 a.m.
So what is the general policy when the funding is from the private sector? What is the general government policy as this House has passed the Community Water Supply Agency (CWSA) Law and we know what it entails? We also know the decoupling of urban water from Community Water as a policy. So what is the general policy of Government when the funding is from the private sector? What is the general policy before you start looking at the case by case basis?
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, would you want to come properly?
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.

That does not appear to be supplementary.
Mr. Adjaho 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is supplementary because there is a general policy on the water sector. We have the urban water, the small towns and the small communities. For the first time, an hon. Minister comes to the House to say that they are sourcing funding from the private sector, and we want to know what is the government policy when the funding is from the private sector, as far as the ownership of the facility is concerned and he is saying that it is on a case by case basis.
The case by case does not give us any policy of Government. So I am only asking him, what the general policy is before we come to look at it. If there is no policy he should tell the honourable House that there is no policy yet.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, do you want me to review my ruling?
Mr. Adjaho 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I know where you are coming from and I will take the cue from you.
Small Town Water Systems for Goka and Asiri (Commencement)
Q. 680. Mr. Alex Asum-Ahensah asked the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing when work would commence on the Small Towns Water systems for Goka and Asiri.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Goka is to benefit from the IDA Small Towns Water Supply Project under the additional US$10 million being sourced from the World Bank. It is expected that the additional funding would be available by September this year to enable CWSA and Jaman North District Assembly initiate the process for the construction
of the water supply system for completion sometime in April, 2008.
Mr. Speaker, Asiri is to be considered under the AFD (Agence Francaisse de Development) funded rural and Peri- Urban Water and Sanitation Project in the Brong Ahafo Region. A pre-feasibility and feasibility studies as well as appraisal of the project had been completed by AFD.
The process for the selection of the consultant for the implementation of the project will begin after the appraisal report had been endorsed by AFD Board hopefully by the end of June, 2007. It is expected that project activities will then begin before the end of this year.
Mr. Asum-Ahensah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister the role that the affected communities are expected to play in the implementation of the Water Supply system.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, when Small Water systems are put in place, it is the community's responsibilities, either the Water Board or the agency that is put in place, to manage the facility to ensure that funds are raised for its continuous maintenance; and that is a very crucial role that the community must play.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Question No. 712, hon. Alfred Kwame Agbesi, Member of Parliament for Ashaiman?
Mr. Joseph Yieleh Chireh 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, with your permission would you allow me to ask the Question.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
I will only do so if he has mandated you.
Mr. Chireh 10:20 a.m.
Yes, he has.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
All right, then go ahead.
Houses at Ashaiman Lebanon, Jericho and Middle East
Mr. Joseph Y. Chireh (on behalf of Mr. Alfred Kwame Agbesi) asked the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing what steps were being taken by the Ministry to relieve residents of Lebanon, Jericho and Middle East, all in Ashaiman whose houses were flooded during the recent heavy rains that affected the area.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Minority Leader seems to think that Lebanon and Jericho are not in Ghana.
Mr. Speaker, the Hydrological Services Department of our Ministry commenced channel deepening and widening and culvert construction for flood mitigation in Ashaiman, Lebanon late last year and work is still in progress. We are looking for funding to enable us tackle areas such as Ashaiman, Jericho and Middle East. Once this is done, it would be tackled immediately.
Mr. Chireh 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister is saying that work is in progress. I would like to know how much work has been done so far.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I will look at the exact percentage completion and I will let him know. I do not have the figure immediately.
Mr. Chireh 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that he is looking for funding to enable him tackle the problem at Jericho and Middle East. First of all, I would like to know the sources that he is looking at to get this funding.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in this sort of game, so to speak, no holds are barred. Wherever I can find the money, it would be used -- HIPC, Budget, Supplementary Budget, donor, whatever. I
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.

am constantly looking for funds for these interventions. It is most likely to come from HIPC; we will do the necessary interventions. So it depends upon when I get the money and the priority that we attach to that particular problem.
Mr. Charles S. Hodogbey 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the originator, hon. Agbesi said, this is not the first time this has happened. It happened in 2005 and 2006 and he brought to this House this same problem but the promise was almost the same. My question is, has his Ministry, having realized that there is an annual problem of flooding in many places in the country, set aside funds to mitigate or to reduce this kind of thing?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish the purse were bottomless so that we could attend to all problems. Certainly, in an environment of restricted funding, we have to spread it across the country. Flooding is a problem for almost every constituency in this nation and as and when we get the resources, we will do that.
I think that hon. Agbesi should be appreciative of the efforts being made -- this major intervention -- and once we are able to finish it we will take it on. But we cannot handle all the difficulties at the same time. It is a process; it has begun and is ongoing.
Nii Adu Daku Mante: Mr. Speaker, I wish to ask the hon. Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing as to what steps his Ministry has put in place to check flooding in the flood-prone areas in the Greater Accra Region during the rainy season.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, is this a supplementary question?
Nii Adu Mante: That is so. We are talking about flooding and Ashaiman is in the Greater Accra Region. I am only
asking him what steps his Ministry has put in place to check flooding in the flood prone areas in the Greater Accra Region.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we have a comprehensive survey of the difficult areas of Greater Accra. We share the responsibility for flood control with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment and Department of Urban Roads. The three agencies handle them. Sometimes it is my Ministry, sometimes it is Local Govern-ment, AMA and sometimes it is the Department of Urban Roads who do the drain construction.
But in all instances, everything is being done to intervene in areas where major difficulties are. The problem is the resource that we do not have. For the moment, the intervention is taking place in very critical areas as identified by the professionals in the hydrological services. Yes, the plan we have, we can make it available to him but it is contingent upon our receiving the necessary funding, normally from HIPC. But these days we are not getting too much money from HIPC for desilting and drainage control.
Mr. David T. Assumeng 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister continues to complain of lack of funding, lack of funding. Mr. Speaker, will the Minister consider advising the Government to redirect the money for ROPAL for his Ministry to use for water supply for the various communities?
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
That is certainly not a supplementary question. [Laughter.]
People of Krachi East (Potable Water)
Q. 770. Mr. Wisdom Gidisu asked the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing when the people of Krachi East
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.

would be supplied with potable water to help reduce the incidence of water diseases in the constituency.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, under the ongoing Danida funded District Based Water and Sanitation Component of the Water Sector Support Programme II, the CWSA is assisting the Krachi East District Assembly to provide potable water to some of the communities in the district.
A borehole drilling programme is on- going to provide potable water to a whole lot of communities. I was in Dambai myself, personally, less than two weeks
ago to witness the commissioning of the water system in that area and I believe that interventions are very much on course. At that time, I was very pleased with the programme of intervention that will do for twenty communities namely:
Twenty boreholes to be given to Krachi
East district alone; it is a new district and everything is being done to support that district and I think that my hon. Friend there should be very pleased that these interventions have been started and that they are on-going.
Mr. W. Gidisu 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister listed some communities that have been provided with water-boreholes each. I want to know from him whether his Ministry is considering any plan to provide mechanized system of water to the district capital, Dambai, so that people will get water to their individual homes.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Dambai facility is mechanized. I
hope that he will take a look. Mechanized means, you drill a borehole, put a pump in it, it lifts the water and it goes into a tank; and then it flows by gravity. If he had taken care to find out, the hon. Member would have known that it is mechanized and it goes into tanks and then the people
TABLE HERE 10:30 a.m.

Mr. W. Gidisu 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, he is talking about mechanized water in Dambai. As I speak now, we have only about four or five standing pipes in the district capital, Dambai. I am talking about individuals getting water in their individual homes. We cannot use such water to flush our various toilets in our homes. This is what we are trying to consider. So if the hon. Minister will consider actually making plans to extend water to our various homes. That is what I am trying to look at.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, for starters, we have seven standpipes and not five in Dambai. We are taking issues, step by step and for now, the priority is to make sure that the people of Dambai and indeed all the communities mentioned are served with water. In the fullness of time, we will then have what we call “small water system” for the town which will then allow us to pipe individually to the various towns. But this is a very major step. When I was there, I appreciated the difficulties there.
As to piping water to individual homes it will be sometime yet. I think we need a bit of time to do that. Dambai needs an
emergency intervention for water for the people and already, they are very happy to receive it. We will take the issue of piping water directly to people's homes when we get there. And I believe that we will do it; give us a few years and we will do it.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we are in May 2007. The communities given to us by the hon. Minister is for the year 2006. Clearly, it is a 2006-year programme. He has not been able to tell this honourable House how many of the twenty communities or twenty boreholes on the programme for 2006 have been completed. We want to know from him and also to find out from him what other business he did when he went to the Krachi East District. Apart from inspecting the water facililities, what other business did he do?
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Minister, please answer one question.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, do I have a choice as to which one I have to answer?
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
The first one.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, certainly the programme started in that year and it is ongoing so the funding is available and I believe that it will be done as soon as possible. I am informed by this note that we are now working in Krachi West and they will move to Krachi East, to these towns, as quickly as possible. I believe that inasmuch as the project is ongoing, it will be done as quickly as we can. I think it is a company called Water Plus which is doing the consultancy services.
Dr. K. Ampofo 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the Minister's answers, he kept referring to small town systems. I just want to know what the technological differences

are between the small town systems and non-small town systems -- just for my information.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, small town water system is where you either sink a couple of boreholes, mechanize them and pump water into a high rise tank and it then falls by gravity. In that instance and in some instances, individual homes are served, instititutions are served. So it is a system and you have a network for it, like Bekwai and a few other places. But where we do not have a small town water system, then we have boreholes where the people go to the source there, either mechanically or where there is electricity, it is pumped out and they access it. So the difference is where you sort of put the water together and then try and distribute it; and the other is when you directly source the water from the borehole.

Communities in the Afram Plains South Constituency (Potable Water)

Q. 771. Mr. Raphael Kofi Ahaligah asked the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing what steps the Ministry was taking to provide potable water to the people living along the Afram River from Aframso, Trebu, Bumpata, Agbokpakofe, Gadorkope, Tailor Korpe, and Togorme, who were seriously suffering from bilharzias and typhoid.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Afram Plains District Assembly has been collaborating with the University of Ghana Medical School on the current bilharzias and other water related
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.

health problems in these communities.

Information received according to preliminary studies indicated that these communities depend on the Afram River, which is polluted in view of human activities along it. Initial solutions are focused on treatment as well as health and hygiene education, which are being initiated by the District Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) has also been implementing a five-year District- Based Water and Sanitation Programme in the Region with Afram Plains as one of the participating districts. Boreholes drilling activities carried out in some of these communities were unsuccessful in view of the difficulty of finding water in the geological formations along the river.

Mr. Speaker, feasibility studies for a small town pipe system for Ekye Amanfrom was completed late last year. Detailed designs for the system are currently ongoing and will be completed in June 2007. Tendering process for civil works will begin in July, 2007 and actual work will commence, God willing, in August/September 2007 for completion within eight (8) months.

If this water system is completed. Trebu, one of the communities mentioned would benefit. The Afram Plains District has also repackaged the rest of the communities, that is Aframso, Bumpata, Agbokpakope, Tailor Korpe and Togorme for the 2007 sub-project to be considered under the ongoing DANIDA assisted District-based Water and Sanitation Programme.
Mr. Ahaligah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may I know if his Ministry has any plans to provide water to the villages as a temporary measure.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, today at three o'clock in the afternoon, I should be meeting with the Ambassador of Denmark to discuss precisely this issue as to how much they can expand their system with us; and hopefully, if we get some funding we will be able to do that. In the interim, I would ask the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) to seriously consider drilling some boreholes for the communities mentioned. It is a tall order, but we have to tackle it and see how far we can go.
Alhaji Amadu Seidu 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
bilharzia is mainly contracted through swimming or bathing in a river which is polluted and not through drinking. I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether Government has plans to more or less disinfect the river so that it does not flow into the Volta River and affect other communities.
M r. O w u s u - A g y e m a n g : M r. Speaker, yes, that is why I said they are collaborating with the University of Ghana Medical School; but I did not quite hear the question from the hon. Member. We cannot ban people from swimming in the river, neither can we take out a programme within the water sector itself. But we think that we should also provide water for them, because the Afram River is polluted. We should give water to the people. And that is what the hon. Member for that constituency is asking for, and that is what I am answering.
As to what steps are being taken to make sure that the river is disinfected, I am afraid I am not in a position to answer that. But we would have to encourage them to stop swimming in the river since it is bilharzias-infected. I am not so sure I
have answered the question because I did not quite understand his question.
Mr. J. K. Gidisu 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in an Answer by the hon. Minister, he noted that he is meeting the Danish Ambassador at 3 p.m. today for discussion on sources of funding. Is that contact different from the last paragraph of the Answer which he referred to, that DANIDA has undertaken some water and sanitation programmes in the district?
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
the Question from the hon. Member for Afram Plains South was whether we would consider drilling other boreholes and providing water facilities; and that will mean an expansion of the existing programme that we have outlined. So I did say that if the Ambassador comes, the subject-matter to be discussed is “Expanded Assistance by DANIDA to the CWSA in the pursuit of their mandate”. And that is what I am talking about.
So all aspects of funding will be discussed and hopefully we shall have an increase in the budget to tackle the very issue of providing water for the rural population.
Mr. Joseph Amenowode 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister identified the difficulties in getting water from the boreholes because of the geological formation along the river banks. I believe you search for water when you do not have water. We have the Afram River flowing all year and the Volta River flowing all year. What prevents the Ministry from taking water directly from these sources for the water system? -- [Interruptions] -- Naturally, you will take it and treat it. That is what I mean.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, such systems are expensive and the population will not commend that.
The cost benefit is such that for bigger communities we do what we call surface treatment -- [Interruption] -- it means taking water from the Afram River.
If the hon. Member knows what it entails, it means taking the water, treating it and that means you have to put in alum, you have to put in chlorine; and the minimum intervention for such systems is in the order of five million dollars. And if you have a population of less than two thousand, then it is not cost-effective. So the most cost-effective thing is to sink boreholes.
But if and when the population grows -- there are major populations, urban populations that we have not even been able to serve. It will be a misdirection of resources to put that water system. As I speak now, Bawku is in crisis and quite a few places are in crises. How then can we take the money from there and give it to a small community? So we have to do it according to the size of the population.
I think the priority is such that we have to now sink boreholes, which will not be the way out. But I think in the course of time, if we find resources, maybe we will be able to do that. But for now, it is not cost-effective to do that. So it is not cost- effective.
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned in his Answer that the first attempt at drilling a borehole did not yield any positive result due to the geological formation.
I want to know how different the DANIDA system is from the first attempt and whether the DANIDA attempt will yield positive results.
Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I think there was a little misunderstanding. DANIDA gives us the resources; they do not do the drilling. We use contractors. The point that I was making was that we have not made that much progress because the geological formation near the river is such that we have not been able to sink deep enough to get water. So I do not think that it is a new intervention by DANIDA; no.
The original system, money was also given to us by DANIDA but I was explaining why we have not made progress. Indeed, in some areas you sink ten boreholes and you get one yielding water. And that means we have to go further.
We are now exploring what is called
Bedrock Exploration Technology where you go beyond the formation and see what can be done. We have got some companies which have shown interest in this and once that technology is developed then we should be able to do that.
I am informed that they are also trying some sophisticated sinking methods which will help them to find out whether water is indeed there. It has been quite a major problem and sometimes we lose a bit of money because we sink and we do not get water.
Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon. Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, thank you very much for appearing to answer these Questions.
Item 4 -- Statements -- Statement
by hon. Member for Komenda/Edina/ Eguafo/Abrem and Minister for Public Sector Reforms.
STATEMENTS 10:50 a.m.

Minister for Public Sector Reform (Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom) 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I make this Statement as a native of the Central Region, and specifically the Member of Parliament for Komenda- Edina-Eguafo-Abrem constituency and on behalf of the thousands of people who travel on the highway from Accra to Yamoransa and points beyond.
I am distressed as are many people across the length and breadth of Ghana over the senseless loss of 40 lives due to the traffic disaster that occurred at Okyereko, near Winneba in the Central Region. I travel on that highway from Accra to Elimina, at least, twice and sometimes six times a month. Due to the difficulties encountered on the highway to Kumasi, I now travel to Kumasi through Mankessim.
Mr. Speaker, the disaster that caused the lives of so many people to be lost was preventable. The Government led by President John Agyekum Kufuor has ensured the re-construction of the Accra- Yamoransa highway. The new road is safer in many respects than the old one. But, we still have great indiscipline on the part of drivers, especially on the one hand and inaction on the part of the Ghana Police Service on the other hand.
In between, the District Assemblies in the areas do not seem concerned with the safety of travelers but only with collecting taxes from drivers and trades who ply their trade near the highway.
Mr. Speaker, we need to make some changes and make them quickly. I have some suggestions for the consideration of the House, the Government and the people that I believe if implemented can save some lives and protect property.
In terms of the design of the Accra- Yamoransa highway, the sides or the

shoulders of the road have been cleared. There is significant improvement in space available for disabled vehicles to park. But the space left on the shoulders of the road appears not wide enough. Traders of all types are taking over the shoulders and denying vehicles in distress room to pull over in emergency situations. We also have lorry stations and petrol stations located very close to the road creating opportunities for congestion.

Mr. Speaker, it is not too late for the Ministry of Transportation to create rest stops that are away from the Accra- Yamoransa highway. When this is done, it will allow vehicles in distress to drive to safety, get the vehicles into good condition and drive back onto the highway. Petrol stations and shops can be located at these rest stops to continue to provide a market for the traders.

This way we do not deny anyone the right to earn a living. The concept of rest stops away from the road will be useful when applied to other busy highways such as the Accra-Kumasi and the Kumasi to Tamale highways.

Mr. Speaker, it is not too late for us to implement this concept because when we go to other developed countries, like South Africa you will find these rest stops that are away from the roads. Mr. Speaker, our greatest enemy with regard to road accidents is indiscipline on the part of drivers and traders.

Therefore, we must insist that the Police Service and the District Assemblies do not allow traders to continue to sell along the shoulders of the highway as happens now especially at Kasoa, Winneba, Apam, Mankessim and Mr. Speaker, this is going on and we all are acting as if we do not know the dangers that are posed by traders sitting along the shoulders of the road and engaging in the trading activities.

The Police Service must be equipped and encouraged to step up their patrols along the highways to check reckless driving and over-speeding. The Police Service should be supported by the Ministry of the Interior to acquire tow trucks that can be used to remove disabled vehicles left on or near the highways on a regular basis and not only when an accident occurs.

The District Assemblies must also be tasked and supported by the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment to enforce discipline on the part of traders and drivers along the highways. They should support the effort to create safer rest stops away from the highways.

The Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) must also step up its activities to ensure that only qualified persons acquire driver's licences. All drivers, particularly commercial drivers must be tested in person before they are granted licences to drive on our roads. The DVLA must also ensure that all vehicles it licenses have seat belts. The Police should enforce the use of the seat belts.

Mr. Speaker, we do not have any choice in this matter. We either make the highways safer for everyone or continue to suffer the agony of painful deaths and injuries. Road accidents do not discriminate. They affect the rich, the poor, the professional, the worker, student and both sexes. Only discipline evenly enforced will bring about the required change. Discipline requires change in attitude of the road users and those in authority to enforce it.

I wish to use the opportunity offered by the honourable House to console the families of the victims of the road accidents and the disasters we have experienced at Okyereko and elsewhere

in Ghana.

But we must use this bad experience to task the relevant authorities and here I want to mention the Ministry of Transportation, the DVLA, the Police Service, the Ministry of Interior, the District Assemblies and the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment to act with urgency to improve our road travel experience in Ghana for the better.
Mr. G. Kuntu-Blankson (NDC -- Mfantsiman East) 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Colleague, the hon. Member for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem cons- tituency.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon. Member, just comment on the Statement and do not evoke any debate.
Mr. Kuntu-Blankson 10:50 a.m.
I would like to bring to the notice of the honourable House and the general public and our visiting students who are in the Public Gallery to know that when President Kufuor -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon. Member, I hope you are taking direction from me.
Mr. Kuntu-Blankson 10:50 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I just want to comment because we need to set the records straight. When President Kufuor visited Mfantsiman on his victory visit to
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Member for Mfantsiman East, please comment; do not invoke debate.
Mr. Kuntu-Blackson 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
on their way to the trip to the Afahye at Cape Coast, due to the cumbersome nature of the road, he appealed to the Minister who visited Ghana at that time to convert the money into grant. [Interruption.] So in a nutshell, if the road is constructed it was not constructed by President Kufuor. And above all, if any money was used in the construction, it is ney for the Government of Ghana -- [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon. Member, please
resume your seat.
Mr. Lee Ocran (NDC -- Jomoro) 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made by the hon. Member for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem. All of us from the Central and Western Regions ply that road and we are becoming increasingly frightened.
But Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting that at the time the road was not in very good condition, anytime there was an accident, the authorities at the time were blamed. Today, the road is in good condition and there are still accidents. So was not the bad nature of the road that was causing the accidents but rather the
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Ocran 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I withdraw.
These drivers might have driven through so many police checkpoints with worn-out tyres. Sometimes, they do not even have tail lights and yet they might have driven through many of the checkpoints along the roads. What are the police doing by mounting those checkpoints?
Is it to check vehicles, to check overloading or to collect what? These are some of the things that I think the Ministry of Transportation should try to look at. I am happy that the Committee on Transport is meeting and they have to take some of these things on board and advise the Minister accordingly so that steps or measures are put in place to protect those of us who ply the roads, not only on that road but also the Accra-Kumasi road and all other roads because the recklessness is becoming quite unbearable.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me
the opportunity.
Mr. I . E. Edumadze(NPP --
Ajumanko-Enyan-Essiam): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity. I think our hon. Colleague has enumerated a lot of causes. He mentioned some Ministries, Districts and Agencies for not doing what they have to do to ensure safety on our roads.
But I think first and foremost, we must
also look at the contractors who construct
these roads. With this particular road in question, at the area where the accident occurred there is a tilt of the road. Especially when it rains and you are not careful and you drive down, you will slip into the drain. And the articulated truck which first caused the accident bumped into that thing and lost control.
Along the second stretch of the road that is, from Ankamu to Cape Coast they are not correcting all the anomalies but I do not see why they have left that particular place all this while.
Again, the foreigners, especially our neighbours from Togo, Benin, la Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia who ply the road do not know the landscape very well, and they are coming in with all manner of speed and recklessness and they cause a lot of accidents. So I will suggest that inasmuch as we are putting our house in order in Ghana, education must also go on there to warn them of these dangers on the road.
But all said and done, Mr. Speaker, as the maker of the Statement said, there is the need for absolute discipline on the part of the police and the drivers. We do not need a policeman all the time to be on the road to tell us that we are doing the wrong thing; sometimes common sense should tell us that we are running too fast.
Sometimes when the passengers complain to the drivers, they are shut down and they become helpless. They are also labelled as “too known” passengers, but I believe we are talking about safety of people on the road.
So on this note, I would support the statement by saying that we, as individuals and Parliamentarians, must also educate our constituents to be able to give out recalcitrant drivers who do these things on the road for checking.
Alhaji SeiduAmadu (NDC -- Yapei-Kusawgu) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, hon. Colleague have time without number made statements about accidents that occurred in various parts of this country but I think this particular one actually deserve national attention because of the toll it has taken on human lives and the destruction of property.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member who made the statement did raise certain vital issues and one of the issues he raised was the need to have rest stops. Indeed we do not have rest stops in this country or most of our highways if not all of them.
What we refer to as rest stops are indeed not rest stops. Like he rightly stated, examples in other countries, rest stops are supposed to be sited some reasonable distance away from the highway to make provision for shopping mall, to make provision for sleeping places, to make provision for fuel, to make provision for packing lots for security purposes. But we do not have all these things. The shoulders of the roads are not meant for stops, for resting or whatever. The shoulders are made for vehicles in distress where you need to struggle to have some reasonable space to park so that you can undertake some repairs and continue the journey.
Because once you use the shoulders as a rest-stop what is likely to happen is that you are going to encumber the use - and for that matter create problems for other road users. So maybe our designs and our rules and regulations might have to be reexamined to capture all these things so that it would be part of the highway development programme.

Mr. Speaker, on vehicles that travel

through the night, particularly the articulated trucks and other cargo vehicles, if you look at the front, the kind of fog light they install is more than enough to blind other road users. Particularly those of us who often use these small vehicles and do not have fog lights, they intentionally blind you and most often everybody takes the risk.

The best is when you are blinded you just have to pull to a stop and just allow the other to go. But we all keep moving and, only God knows if there is any obstruction in front of you, Mr. Speaker, you are likely to bump into it. So why is there no need to review immediately and probably empower the police and those on road safety to stop any vehicle carrying any fog light?

Mr. Speaker, fog lights are installed in desert conditions where visibility is normally very poor or during harmattan where visibility is always very poor. And occasionally in other places, as a result of whether conditions you have some fog lights. These are that is the only occasions when you have to use these fog lights. But it appears in Ghana our drivers have been allowed to use fog lights as a kind of decoration and as a way of bullying other road users. And most of the time accidents that we have, have something to do with this.

Mr. Speaker, the other issue is the vehicle that has only one headlight. At a distance, particularly in rural roads, you are tempted to believe that it is a motorcycle and because of that you do not take the necessary precaution to stay in your lane only for you to run into another on coming vehicle. We need to look at all these things if we really want to reduce the number of accidents that we would continue to experience in this country.

Mr. Speaker, there is one other road; the
Alhaji SeiduAmadu (NDC -- Yapei-Kusawgu) 11:10 a.m.

stretch between Kintampo and Techiman is another accident-prone area. For those of us who are always perambulating the road to the north we realise almost on a daily basis that you have these articulated trucks. The sad thing is that it sometimes involves the articulated trucks that are coming from the neighbouring countries to our harbours to pick their goods.

It is sad because there has been a lot of improvement at our harbour and the idea is that they intend to use Ghana as a hub so that we can capture the market coming from Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, and make more revenue for the harbour and for that matter for Government. But the level of accidents there is now discouraging them and most of them are now shifting their business away from Ghana to Benin and to Lome. It is allbecause the road is not properly constructed. We are aware of Government's plan to source funds to construct the road, but it also goes through some very bad terrain and it is going to be a very big challenge. So we need properly to look at all roads where as a result of the condition of the road accidents keep happening.

But Mr. Speaker, the issue of road furniture is also very important. It is the duty of whoever builds the road through the efforts of Ghana Highway Authority to make sure that road furniture is captured in the contract. You cannot just build the road and leave it there; most of the roads are not even marked, most of them have no warning signs; that is what I mean by road furniture.

Areas that go through some difficult terrain are supposed to have some protective cover so that in case of any tyre burst or any accident we can be protected. Most of these highways do not have these things and I think that if we are talking

about accidents we also need to go back to the engineering table to address these basic issues of design so that we can give more safety to the roads that we have.

Mr. Speaker, finally on the issue of discipline, it is indeed true that most people in Ghana continue to use our public roads as an extension of their property. There are some people, even when they are building, they come to keep sand, gravel and chippings on the side of the road and these are national property.

No matter how close your property is to the highway, the highway does not belong to you; it is a public facility; it is public property, but people do it and we all see it -- lawmakers, policy makers, police and we do not stop to complain. A vehicle breaks down and they do not try to tow it away. They carry out the repairs, spill fuel and destroy the road as if the road was not built with public funds, as if the road did not cost money to the Government.

These are some of the mentalities that we have; so we need to educate ourselves, have regard for human life, have regard for ourselves and have regard for other road users. Mr. Speaker, without all these things, I believe that we would be making fruitless efforts and accidents would continue to happen in this country, taking tolls on the economy and on human lives and causing grief.

Mr. Speaker, I sympathise with the families who lost their dear ones and I sympathise with the Ghanaian public for this unfortunate accident that has come again to give us a very bad name.

With this, Mr. Speaker, I support the statement.

Minister for Local Government,

Rural Development and Environment (Mr. S. Asamoah-Boateng): Mr.

kill and so we should all be mindful of that.

Mr. Speaker, that brings me to another point. Whenever these highways are to be constructed people want that the highway should pass through their town. I know of politicians who would scream that the highway should pass through their towns. And when the highways are diverted from certain have developed a certain habit of informing their other drivers that the police are there.

They have to flash their cars or they use their thumbs to tell you a police man is there so that you slow down when you get there, but immediately after, they speed up again. I do not know how we can bring some sanity into our driving; it cannot just work it out. Mr. Speaker, I think somehow Ghanaians must understand that it is in your own interest to stick to the stipulated speed limit because your car is not a safety for you.

A brand new car can have its brakes fail; it has happened before, brand new cars brakes can fail yet with the old cars still on our roads yet they still speed. Drivers, I hope that when we get out of this House that please, we keep on pleading that numerous occasions we have come here and pleaded with our drivers that they should know they are playing with danger.

A car can kill and it is a machine that can kill, so we should all be aware that when we are travelling we need to go safely from point ‘A' to point ‘B'. Mr. Speaker, that brings me to another point. When we are constructing these highways everybody wants the highway to pass through their town, yet these are highways and I know of politicians who would scream that they should pass through their towns and when the highways are taken from certain towns there is a huge problem.

We should all understand that highways

are highways, and as the statement has made us aware, if we need to make provision for trading or for stop-overs then we can do so so that traders can go to these stopovers where passengers rest and eat and drivers fill their tanks and move on again. That we can do. But to construct highways in the middle of towns is something I find very, very hard to understand.

Mr. Speaker, when we even do that, the people who say they want good roads, still construct speed ramps on the highways. Maybe, the Ministry of Transportation may explain why we have highways with ramps on them. Maybe, we need speed cameras which are not identified so that people do not know where the cameras are and we can then bring to book those who flout the law on the road.

I believe that with the new Road Act that has come into being we would enforce the laws to bring some sanity onto the roads.

As to the recommendation that the Ministry of Local Government, Road Development and Environment through the District Assemblies should help enforce the rules, I thank him for that recommendation. We would be talking to our District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives and their Assembly Members to help the Police and other law enforcement agencies so that we have some sanity on our roads. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to contribute.
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC - Wa Central) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the statement. Mr. Speaker, the situation we face today on our highways is very
disturbing and it evokes a lot of concern across the board -- from members of the public, ordinary people, politicians, businessmen and everybody.
Mr. Speaker, the reason is that as you travel along the highway, until you get to your destination, you are sitting on a time- bomb. And it is more serious in situations where we have improved the nature of the road and we still face such very difficult situation in our travel lives.
Mr. Speaker, what happened on this road the hon. Member has referred to was an eyesore and I want to call on the Ministry of the Interior, in particular, to respond very seriously to this problem. I want to lay blame for this problem squarely on the policemen. The reason is that, Mr. Speaker, I have travelled on that road several times.
I have followed vehicles that do not have tail-lights; I have followed vehicles that are not roadworthy and yet they pass through all the police check points and go to wherever they are going. Mr. Speaker, if in the event accidents occur - the policeman is comfortable taking a little money from the driver and eventually ensuring that the driver drives off and causes accident that costs a lot of lives.
Mr. Speaker, we need to identify where
the problem is. Even though the road network itself may be a problem, even though we may have faulty situations where the contractors do not deliver as much as we want, the antidote is that the security agency responsible for checking that people do not abuse the rights they have in the use of the roads must be checked.
Mr. Speaker, this is also happening in every other place throughout the country and it has become a goldmine for people who are responsible for ensuring that
Speaker, I wish to associate myself with the statement made by my hon. Colleague, the Member of Parliament for Komenda- Edina-Eguafo-Aberim. First of all, I want to also express my condolence and I believe, all of us, to the bereaved families of those from Ghana and also those from our neighbouring countries.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that if you travel outside your country to another country and such an accident happens it is such an unfortunate and very frightening thing. So it is not only to our own nationals involved but foreign nationals and we do sympathise and express our condolences to them.
Mr. Speaker, we have go very nice roads running from Accra to our major towns. But I think drivers have assumed that once we have got new roads they can do what they like and we need to find innovative ways of checking our drivers. It has now become a fashion that even when the police are on the road, drivers inform their colleagues that the Police are there.
They either flash their lights or use their thumbs to signal to their colleagues to slow down as they get to the police. Immediately after, they speed up again. I do not know how we can bring some sanity into our driving. I just cannot work it out. Mr. Speaker, I think that somehow Ghanaians must understand that it is one's interest to stick to the stipulated speed limit because a car is not a safe haven per se; a brand new car's brakes can fail.
It happens. Yet even the old vehicles on our roads still over speed. I hope that word will go out from this House to our drivers - on numerous occasions we have pleaded with our drivers - that they are playing with danger. We should all be mindful that a car is a machine that can
Alhaji M. A. Yakubu (NPP - Yendi) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would also like to support the Statement that has been made on the floor. Although the hon. Member who made the statement, hon. Kwesi Nduom (Dr.), limited himself to his constituency I think the statement is of national application because all over the country we hear of road accidents causing deaths.
Mr. Speaker, I think this is a very
serious issue because death by accidents usually produce such ghastly scenes where
human beings are so destroyed that you look at the result of road accidents and you have that feeling running through your spine. This being the case, let us look at one of the contributors saying that this is not the first time that statements on accidents have been made in the House.
If that is the case, we should not let this Statement also pass as one of such Statements. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I have some suggestions to make.
First of al l , the Parliamentary Committee on Roads and Transport -- It would be a good idea if, Mr. Speaker, you refer this matter to the Committee to seriously take up this with the relevant national institutions - Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA), the Ministry of the Interior and the Road Safety Board. There is a Road Safety Board, and sometimes one wonders what is actually happening.
We need to look at this problem from the roots and really do something that will impact positively and reduce these unnecessary deaths, these ghastly deaths that we find on our roads.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we have police barriers -- that is my second proposal - road blocks where a number of policemen sit down at one spot.
Instead of that situation, it would be a good idea, if in order that the roads would be monitored, very, very actively monitored so that bad drivers can be tracked down and action taken immediately -- It would be better instead of sitting at road blocks, means are found, not necessarily vehicles, motorcycles for police road patrols to be actively on all the major busy roads so that as soon as a bad driver whose driving is likely to cause an accident, is spotted on the way he is stopped immediately and action taken.
Sometimes you would find these
articulator trucks following each other, sometimes four or five occupying nearly one-quarter of a kilometre and it becomes exceedingly difficult for vehicles behind them to pass. And because of that situation where they block free flow of traffic, some drivers, being impatient, force their way to overtake the chain of big trucks and most of these result in accidents. If there is active monitoring on the roads it should be possible for a police patrol motorcycle rider to stop these vehicles for just a minute or so to allow free flow of traffic. This will substantially reduce accidents arising out of frantic overtaking.
So Mr. Speaker, I think that we need
to take certain concrete steps. The DVLA already says that very soon they will issue licence to only literate drivers. In fact, sometimes when a driver is driving very badly on the road and you take a glance at him you invariably find a very young, inexperienced, innocent-looking driver behind the wheels of a big vehicle because a car owner gives it to a nephew or a son to reduce cost of paying a good driver some good salary.
Now if the DVLA enforces its new regulations and make sure that before you get licence you are passed to be a person of discretion, a person of knowledge who can handle a vehicle well, and then together with the suggestions that I am making, I believe that we will impact positively on these road accidents. Ghana is among the countries with the highest road accidents, at least, in our region. That is unacceptable and Parliament ought to play its role so that we impact positively on this bad trend.
Alhaji Collins Dauda (NDC -- Asutifi South) 11:30 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity. Mr. Speaker, I also rise to associate myself
with the statement and to say that motor accidents on our roads, for me, is a matter of indiscipline in our society -- Mr. Speaker, indiscipline on the part of drivers, indiscipline on the part of the police, road users and several other public agencies.
Mr. Speaker, in the case of the drivers, it is clear that lots of the accidents are caused as a result of over-speeding and overtaking and some drivers on a highway being drunk and a lot of things. Some leave their broken down vehicles where they are not supposed to leave them, but Mr. Speaker, all these constitute indiscipline and they have to be checked.
Mr. Speaker, all these contribute indiscipline and they have to be checked.

Mr. Speaker, of late, if you use our highways, you will find that there is police patrol all over the place but if you take the trouble to check the number of arrests that are made on our high ways as compared to the number of cases prosecuted in our courts you will realise that there is something wrong somewhere. And this borders on indiscipline; it borders on attitudes that must change in this country.

Mr. Speaker, until attitudes are changed, it may be very difficult to deal with such matters. These accidents are human and we need to deal with them in this direction.

Mr. Speaker, sometimes you find a vehicle on the road that from the layman's point of view is not a vehicle that is roadworthy but bears a road worthy certificate. Mr. Speaker, all these borders on indiscipline on the part of some public agencies like the DVLA that have the responsibility of ensuring that all the vehicles on our road are road worthy.

Mr. Speaker, then again, the delays in
Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo (NPP --- Amenfi East) 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am also a regular user of that road and the spate of accidents on this particular road in recent times is very disturbing. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member who made the Statement raised a number of issues but I want to touch on just one of them; and that is the wearing of seat belts.
Mr. Speaker, I think that it is high time that we enforced the law on wearing of seat-belts in this country.
Mr. Speaker, if you consider at the recent accidents particularly involving commercial vehicles andthe number of lives that are lost as well as injuries that arise from such accidents, you will realise that if those who were involved were wearing seat-belts, maybe most of these lives that were lost the injuries could have been prevented.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
At the Commencement
of --
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Any comment? Very
Mr. Doe-Adjaho (NDC -- Ave
Avenor): Mr. Speaker, I will not take more than one minute. Mr. Speaker, I think that this is a very important Statement and hon. Members have contributed to it in a way that is quite amazing. Mr. Speaker, I think that almost all of us are guilty one way or the other with this matter.
Unfortunately, the Statement has been made by the hon. Minister for Public Sector Reforms, I have listened to him and I expected him to bring some proposals to this House with regard to the public institutions that are involved in this matter; and I think that it is still not too late. I
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, this is not a point of order.
Mr. Ossei Aidooh 11:40 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. Deputy Minority Leader's (Mr.E.K.T. Adjaho) intervention is most unnecessary- This intervention by my hon. Colleague is most uncalled for and it is completely not within our rules.
Mr. Adjaho 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member has not mentioned any rule. Mr. Speaker, the point being made is that the matter should be taken beyond statements on the floor of the House and I think that of all the people who have contributed to this matter, he is in a better position than all of us. Mr. Speaker, that is my contribution. Thank you very much.
Mr. Aidooh 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may I move
that we adjourn proceedings till tomorrow morning at ten o'clock
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Any seconder to the
Mr. E. K. T. Adjaho 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
beg to second the motion
ADJOURNMENT 11:40 a.m.