Ing. Ndebugri Issaka Stevens
Regional Chief Manager
Ing. Ndebugri Issaka Stevens has been Regional Chief Manager for the Northern Region of Ghana since April, 2015. Prior to that, he was Regional Distribution Manager and later Acting Regional Chief Manager for the Ashanti North Region.
He joined GWCL in February 1992 as a Distribution Engineer for the Northern Region. He later became Regional Engineer for the same Region in 2004. He was transferred to the Volta Region as the Regional Engineer, which position he held until he was transferred to Ashanti Region as the Regional Distribution Manager.
Prior to joining GWCL, Ing. Ndebugri was the Project Manager for the World Bank sponsored Voradep Roads Rehabilitation Project from 1988 to 1991.
Ing. Ndebugri Issaka Stevens holds a Master of Science Degree in Engineering from the Kharkov Institute for Municipal Engineers in Ukraine. He is a member of the Ghana Institute of Engineers.
THE NORTHERN REGION
The Northern Region is the largest of the ten regions of Ghana in terms of land area. The region's capital is Tamale. The region occupies an area of about 70,383 square kilometers. It shares boundaries with the Upper East and the Upper West Regions to the north, the Brong Ahafo and the Volta Regions to the south, and two neighbouring countries, the Republic of Togo to the East, and La Cote d’ Ivoire to the West.
Climate and Vegetation
The climate of the region is relatively dry, with a single rainy season that begins in May and ends in October. The amount of rainfall recorded annually varies between 750 mm and 1050 mm. The dry season starts in November and ends in March/April with maximum temperatures occurring towards the end of the dry season (March-April) and minimum temperatures in December and January.
The harmattan winds, which occur during the months of December to early February, have considerable effect on the temperatures in the region, which may vary between 14°C at night and 40°C during the day. Humidity, however, which is very low, mitigates the effect of the daytime heat.
The main vegetation is classified as vast areas of grassland, interspersed with the guinea savannah woodland, characterised by drought-resistant trees such as the acacia, baobab, shea nut, dawadawa, mango, neem.
Total Population; Population Served
According to the Ghana Statistical Services 2010 Population and Housing census, the region currently has a population of 2,479,461 representing 10.1 per cent of the total population of the country. The Northern Region’s population is almost the same as that of Brong-Ahafo and slightly larger than that of the Volta and Central Regions, which are much smaller in land area.
Average Family Size, Total Number of Families Served
The region continues to be sparsely populated with an average household size in the Tamale Metropolis at 6.5 people with Yendi currently standing at 7.4 people. According to a research conducted by the Tahal Consult with Alpha Consult in 2009, the projected population to be served by the Ghana Water Company by 2015 is estimated at 587,877.
Cultural and Social Structure
More than half of the population of the region (56.2%) are Muslims and religion permitting most of the indigenes practice polygamous marriages, The rest are largely adherents of Traditional religion (21.3%), Christians (19.3%) and other religious groups (3.3%). The region is well known for its peculiar architecture of round huts with conical thatched roofs, which provide a particular scenic view.
The region has four paramount chiefs, namely: the Ya- Na based in Yendi; the Yagbon Wura in Damango; the Bimbila Naa in Bimbila; and the Nayiri in Nalerigu. Each represents a major ethnic group. The major ethnic groups of the region are the Mole and others (17.3%), Dagomba, (52.2%) the Gurma, (21.8%) the Akan and the Guan (8.7%).
The indigenous languages spoken by the people vary from district to district. The Gonja language is spoken mostly in three districts, namely East Gonja, West Gonja and Bole. Dagbani, the language of the Dagomba, is spoken in nine of the thirteen districts.
Farming is the main occupation of about 70% of the people in the region. Among the crops grown are maize, rice, sorghum, yams, tomatoes and cotton and tree crops such as shea-nut, and kapok.
Rice is cultivated mainly in Walewale, Tamale, Damongo, Salaga and Yendi. Groundnut is cultivated extensively around Tamale, Bimbilla, Yendi and Walewale. Guinea corn is also grown extensively in the region. The cultivation of rice and groundnut is mostly done on commercial basis.
Livestock rearing in the region forms an important part of the economic activity of the area. Industry is agro-based in the form of processing agricultural produce such as groundnuts into edible oil and shea-nut into shea-butter. Several rice mills operate in the area. Non-agro industries are minimal in the region, mainly due to the poor mineral resource base of the area.
There is availability of high quality limestone deposits at Bog-Da near Gambaga and Buipe which can be used in the manufacture of Portland cement. Sheini in the Zabzugu-Tatale District is also noted to have iron ore deposits.
There are also substantial deposits of clay at Kukuo, Yong, Nabari, Kpaligu and Bewna. Bricks made from this clay are said to be suitable for the climatic conditions of the north. Places of interest abound in the Northern Region and so are many customary and cultural practices.
The quality of housing is generally poor in all the districts. The main materials are mud for walls and floors, and thatch for roofing. Most dwelling units have no electricity, running water or modern and improved toilet facilities.
Agriculture, hunting, and forestry are the main economic activities in the region. Together, they account for the employment of 71.2 per cent of the economically active population, aged 15 years and older. Less than a tenth (7.0%) of the economically active people in the region are unemployed.
The private informal sector absorbed 83.4 per cent of the economically active population. An additional 11.5 per cent are in the private formal sector leaving the public sector with only 4.3 per cent.
Those who are not working because of old age constitute 14.8 per cent. A small proportion is not working because of disability (2.2%) or are pensioners who are on retirement (1.2%) while 16.9 per cent are classified as others. These rates relate to the 10-year period preceding the surveys.
Region Products and/or ServicesThe region provides basically portable pipe-borne water for consumers. Officially, the region has one Tanker Vehicle. Tanker services are limited to important institutions, staff and few customers based upon request. The systems have several storage facilities made up of reinforce surface concrete tank and EWTs.
There are currently two booster stations is the region, Gumo and Bagabaga Booster Stations. These booster stations per the current distribution designs and network do not come to play in terms of operations and supply of water since water is supplied by gravity from the KukuoYapalsi Reservoire which is sited at the highest point in the region.
But do to the regions inability to supply water to the high pressures zones and some public sentiments expressed by consumers in these areas, the region is compelled to bring into operations the Bagabaga Booster Station to help augment or booster water supply to these areas.
Water Supply Systems
The water supply for Tamale and the surrounding environs as the main service offered was established in 1972 with the construction of an intake at Nawuni on the White Volta River some 37 km north west of Tamale and a Water Treatment Plant at Dalun.
The region operates three (3) Water Treatment Plants
Dalun - Source of raw water : Nawuni, White Volta
Yendi - Source of raw water : River Daka. With a Production capacity of 2,600m3 and daily average of 1,500m3 and three (3) Mechanized boreholes with 31.2m3/hr
Total Installed Production Plant Capacity for Dalun Treatment Plant has progressively expanded with time as shown below. Figures 2-10 as attached indicates some equipments and structures;
1972 – 2.8MGD (approx. 13,000.00m3/day)
1999 – 4.3MGD (approx. 19,545.00m3/day)
2008 – 10 MGD (approx. 45,000.00m3/day)
The expansion and rehabilitation works which was awarded to Messrs-Bi-water Construction and completed in August 2008, increased capacity from 19 to 45 Mld, extensions to the distribution network and a programme to reduce water losses (NRW) through leak detection and pressure management.
The improvements included replacing the pumps in the existing water intake structure, 7 km of Ø600 mm raw water pipeline, a new treatment plant, replacement treated water pumps, 22 km of Ø700/800 mm transmission pipeline, a 20,000 m³ reservoir at KukuoYapalsi and 96 km of new distribution mains.
Length and Details of Distribution Network
The Distribution Network comprises of Tamale Existing Network - 562 Km, MiDA Improvement - 98.4 Km, Subsequent Year Improvement Program (SYIP) - 137.5 Km including 5.5km of Salamba pipeline replacement and Yendi - 68.6km.The total distribution network in the region is therefore about 866.5 km
Generally, the flow situation has improved considerably with the substantial completion of the SYIP project. Low flows experienced in the Region have been managed by the installation of centre valves at selected locations nonetheless additional valves would be required to ensure smooth operation of water supply within the network.
The distribution system in the Tamale is classified into 3 zones:
A - High pressure zone
B - Medium pressure zone
C - Low pressure zone
For Yendi, distribution of water is done on alternate days in this order – Nayilfong, Zole, Balogu, Bungalows, substation ‘A’ and substation ‘B’.
Subsequent Year Investment Programme (SYIP) – Distribution Inter-connections of 137.5km of pipelines 450m/ 300/ 200/ 100/ 110 as replacement and renewals to areas such as Industrial Area, Airport Road, Katariga-Kamina Barracks, Bisco on the Nyankpala Road, Agric to Sakasaka, Lamashegu, Kpanvo, Vittim (Shooting Range, Village and loop to Yendi), Banvim-Kanshegu, Sawaba, Kumbungu, Kanshegu etc. and construction of air valves, washout chambers.
Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) – The Tamale Water Expansion Project which is being implemented by Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) for the 3 beneficiary districts (i.e. Tamale Metropolis, Savelugu-Nanton&Tolon-Kumbungu Districts) was packaged into four (4) different LOTS. These include:
LOT 1 – Water Extension to Tamale Metropolis: - community beneficiaries included Wamale, Chanzeni, Zuo, Gbabshie and Difaa
LOT 2 – Water Extension to Savelugu-Nanton District: - community beneficiaries included Savelugu Township, Moglaa, Ligba, Tootenyili, Tibale and Kpendua.
LOT 3 – Pong-Tamale Water Supply System: - community beneficiaries included Agric Station, Pong-Tamale and Pong.
LOT 4 – Water Extension to Tolon-Kumbungu District:- community beneficiaries included Fando, Botanga and Logoshiegu.
Despite the above interventions, much more is desired in terms of distribution improvement as the Tamale Township has expanded outstripping the existing distribution coverage. In the not too distant future, an extension of 160km of pipeline would be required for improvement in the distribution network, including 40 kilometers of up-grading 50mm (2”) to 100mm (4”) both for Tamale and Yendi. Most of the Boundary valves are currently not sitting and this hampering the smooth running and effective DMA and water balance.
Current leakage levels in Tamale were relatively low but the introduction of District Meter Areas (DMA) and pressure management had further reduced leakage to 30%. The installation of meters and PRVs controls flow from the transmission main and allows more of the water produced at Dalun WTP to be supplied to Tamale. This should have resulted in significant reductions to NRW but rather the opposite as most of the materials and devices used are now defective and no more in use.
Messrs-Bi-water used a Global Information System (GIS) to map the existing distribution network and build a hydraulic model to optimise the design of the network extensions. The Water Asset Management component of the project is to reduce the current high levels of non–revenue water by leakage detection, flow and pressure control and improve revenue collection and network management with new computer systems.