Date: June 13, 2011, 5:07 pm


Civil society activists have discounted the notion that public institutions cannot deliver essential services to the nation. They noted that when public officers are appointed on merit and are monitored, they can deliver results.

Speaking on GTV’s Current Affairs Programme, Talking Point on the exit of AVRL, the Essential Services Coordinator of ISODEC, Leonard Shang-Quartey, held the views that most public institutions have failed because of the economic and political crisis in the 70’s and 80’s.

He said it is hypocritical that while reforms were introduced into public sectors such as the judiciary and police, privatization was used as the solution to other sectors such as water delivery.

Mr. Shang-Quartey said in privatizing water, government was only interested in full cost recovery, neglecting its responsibility of providing affordable water produced in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Another panelist, Benjamin Arthur, from the coalition of NGO’s in Water and Sanitation, called for accountability from public officials. He was not happy with the formation of a new company to take over from AVRL, arguing that efforts should be rather directed at resourcing AVRL.

For this part, Chief Manager in charge of public Relations at GWCL, Michael Agyemang, indicated that AVRL was brought on board to serve as bait for investors. This, he said, accounted for government’s ability to secure loans to work on water projects at Tamale, Cape Coast, Kpong, Weija, Koforidua, Kumasi, among others. He admitted that AVRL has not met most of its targets as set out in the management contract.

Mr. Agyemang defended the establishment of the new company, the Ghana Urban Water Company Limited to take over from AVRL.

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