Date: June 13, 2011, 5:18 pm
WE NEED A STRONG PUBLIC WATER AUTHORITY NOT GUWCL - ISODEC
The Essential Services Programs Coordinator at ISODEC, Leonard Shang-Quartey has called for the establishment of public water authority to help address challenges of water supply in the country.
Speaking on Multi TV’s current affairs program, PM EXPRESS, Mr. Shang-Quartey said the establishment of the Ghana Urban Water Company Limited is not the ultimate solution to the problem of water supply in the country.
According to him, the main problems plaguing the water sector are financial and structural defects at the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to enable it enhance water supply rather than the creation of a new company to take over from Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL).
“I don’t think we’re going to have any remarked change in the situation [water supply] as it was before because AVRL going out only meant two foreign nationals bowing out. The bulk of their staff were seconded staff from GWCL so I think they should be able to hold the fort.”
He added that “we need a strong functional public water authority. This whole idea about Ghana Urban Water Limited, I don’t think it’s necessary. We have to focus our efforts on GWCL and make it workable.”
He argued that bringing AVRL onboard in the first instance was not necessary since the problems GWCL faces are financial and questioned how the new company will bring about the needed financing for the GWCL.
But the Chief Manager in charge of Public Relations at the GWCL, Michael Agyemang who was also on the programme, gave the assurance that the GWCL is ready to take up the task of improving water supply.
He explained that the Ghana Urban Water Company Limited (GUWCL) is a wholly owned Ghanaian company which will take up the task of AVRL, namely water production.
The GUWCL he said, will operate for a year after which government will assess its performance.
According to him, some expansion projects are already ongoing on the eastern side of Accra.
“We have ATMA Rural, that is Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area. When you go along the Akosombo road up to the mountains to Aburi, some work is going on and that is about 70 million Euros worth of a project that is going to enhance production” he said.
Mr. Agyemang also gave the assurance that the public “should be hopeful and now that the thing has come back into the hands of Ghanaians, things will work out well. The government is not sitting idle. It’s now gotten a lot of money [and] very soon, everybody will see that we’ve started work.”
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