GOVERNMENT MUST ADDRESS POOR QUALITY OF WATER IN SWEDRU AND SURROUNDING VILLAGES
We the newly formed Local Action Committee of Agona Swedru of the National Coalition Against Privatisation of Water wish to also make our voices heard on attempt by the present private managers of Ghana Water – Aqua Vitens Rand Limited to railroad the sovereign Government of the people of Ghana into a contract that will only benefit them and had benefited them for the past four years of their operations in Ghana to the detriment of low-income communities such as ours.
The issue of low water quality has been a problem that our community has been facing for a very long time and we are yet to see a solution to the problem. Despite the agreement between the private managers and the Government of Ghana to improve upon water quality the physical condition of water that we receive out of our taps is a clear indicator that this agreement has not been met.
We are concerned about the lack of investment to expand the present water supply network in Agona Swedru. We are appalled that there has not been any effort by the private managers to improve on the existing water supply network to meet the needs of the growing population of the community. If it is true that these private managers have no money of their own to make this possible but will rather depend on our taxes for such projects then it will be best for them to move out. Government in principle is supposed to be a fair allocator of resources. We can trust our elected Government on the question of equitable distribution of water to all, rich and poor but we do not trust the private manager.
Swedru today like most communities in Ghana is expanding at a very fast rate with most of the newly emerging communities without access to safe drinking water. We do expect of an effective manager to anticipate future developments and to factor that in his planning. We are not sure that same can be said of the present managers as our everyday experiences show. In the absence of such a plan which envisages future connection of water to all households and laying of a water supply network; the cost of connecting water from long distances has been made that of the individual. In contrast this is not so for housing projects being developed for the rich.
Our main concern with the private managers is that the situation has become much intense in, and against poor communities over the years. We do not see such signs in richer communities in Agona Swedru. Communities such as Woraba Estates, Yaabem and Swedru Bungalow are consistently supplied with water whilst Wawase, Nkubem and Oteiprow are constantly denied water. If this is how the private manager intends to make water delivery profitable then poor communities will be faced with difficult times. Fortunately for us this will only happen if we sit back unconcern. Water is a major source of life for all, rich or poor. We will not wait until our lives have been taken away before we seek remedy. We do demand our right to life now, and on this day 27th January 2010 we join forces with all other communities under the National Coalition Against Privatisation of Water to demand for the respect of the sanctity of human life.
We say no against privatization of water and encourage Government to resist all pressures that will in the end be detrimental to the general living conditions of ordinary people. Government must keep faith with the poor. We call on Government to rather invest part of the huge contract sum into improving the very poor quality of water in Agona Swedru. We call for Government to invest part of the huge contract sum to improve water delivery and quality in our community and other communities.
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