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STX Project Will Take Off   
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The Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing, Mr Alban Bagbin, has said that despite government's disappointment over the delay in the take-off of the STX project, it is still committed to the project "and will do all it takes to let it take off"

He said the project faced some challenges which his ministry was hard at work to resolve and that there was light at the end of the tunnel for the project.

He has, meanwhile, intimated of a possible "redesigning" of the entire project, should the President so desire.

He said the committee set up to look into the disagreements among the STX partners, which were partly delaying the project, would present its report to the President next week.

Mr Bagbin made these remarks when he addressed the German business community on the government's projects as part of the West Africa Infrastructure Conference currently underway in Accra.

The four day conference, which brings together infrastructure-oriented businesses, particularly those with German origin, is at the instance of the German Industry and Commerce in Ghana, in association with the Ghanaian-German Economic Association (GGEA).

"We may be facing frustrations in our quest to commence the construction of the 30,000 housing units but the larger war we have declared as a government is to ensure that both the public and private sectors combine forces to bridge the 1.5 million housing deficit within the shortest possible time," the minister said.

Mr Bagbin observed that the country's housing deficit was currently worsening, a situation, he said needed realistic approaches, both from the government and private sector participants to meet the increasing demand.

"The Ghana National Housing Project and the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) are the NDC government's bold response to this housing deficit," Mr Bagbin said, and explained that the stalled STX project was but just a portion of that commitment.

On water, Mr Bagbin said the government's efforts to provide potable water for rural and urban folks was currently paying off, following the increase of urban water access from 58.7per cent in 2008 to 63.9 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

Access to water in the rural areas, according to him, was also on the increase, rising from 57.4 per cent in 2008 to 63 per cent .in the first quarter of this year.

He expressed optimism that Ghana would "surely achieve more than the Millennium Development Goal of 76 per cent rural water coverage".

He also mentioned government's plans to invest in the construction of sea defence walls in the country's coastal towns to avert the eminent threat posed by the sea.

"The truth of the matter is that as lofty as our ideals and intentions may be, the government has very limited resources to meet all of the country's infrastructure needs," Mr Bagbin said, and called on private investors, including those from Germany, to help in that regard.

Source: Daily Graphic

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