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After fiasco to manage water situation in Accra,


 A group academic work anchored

by James Harry Obeng



The age-long water shortages afflicting parts of Accra, the country’s capital, continue to take on worrying and somewhat dramatic twists amidst fruitless managerial efforts in search of a lasting antidote to the crisis.


As attempts by government and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in finding a solution to the situation grapple to chalk meaningful headway, information gathered from disparate crisis-afflicted zones in the capital paint gloomy pictures of looming disturbances and displacements interlaced with a managerial blame game initiated against government by Aqua Vitens Rand Company (AVRC), the privately-owned foreign consortium  entrusted to manage the situation.


At Dome-Kwabenya, about 45 minutes drive away from Accra, some residents are set to pour onto the streets in protest of what they described as “the insensitivity of government”, reports Esenam Akosua Dzansi.


Brian Asare, a resident, who made the disclosure in an interview with the reporter added that other residents, including himself, were planning to relocate from the suburb, all in an effort to escape the impact of the perennial water crises on them.


He said some residents have also resorted to the purchase and use of pressure pumps to force their pipes to flow of water, an unorthodox practice which Hon. Kofi Pepra , the assemblyman for the area, had worked for its stoppage, but to no avail.


These developments appear not to differ from the experiences recorded at other areas in the city, including Labone, Nungua, Achimota, Adenta, Santa Maria, Kotobabie and Ashaley-Botwe, where standpipes have turned white elephant and serving no useful purposes, according to reports by our reporters.


The grim reality of urban dwellers devastated by acute water shortages again remain the hardnosed plight of residents of Madina and Accra New Town, report James Harry Obeng and Lewis Numekevor, compelling residents to scavenge for water from wherever imaginable, regardless of its health implications.


A resident at Accra New Town  (name withheld) disclosed that “chop bar” operators in the area were sourcing water from “unhygienic places” to ran their businesses, a situation which was later corroborated by Madam Esi, a chop bar operator, who said “business must go on, water or no water”


A report by WaterAid, a non-governmental organization, indicate the volume of water supply in most part of the world, including Ghana, have seen a downward trend. Government figures made available to our reporter, Raquell Crawford-Mills and Vanessa Affolaby, say about 50 percent of the daily water production of the GWCL —120 million gallons — are lost through “leaks, illegal connections and unpaid bills”, adding that about 30 percent do not get to its destination due to burst pipes along ways.


According to Mr. Emmanuel Nkrumah, the director of Urban Water Supply Project of the GWCL, an international tender will be launched in June to find a private partner for the GWCL, fuelling suspicions about the inefficiency of the Aqua Vitens Rand Company.


Additionally, government sources have given hints about a move to sign a deal with a new company early next year immediately the December elections are done away with.


But when contacted over the foregoing and the overall management of water in the country, the spokesperson for AVRC, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, said it was outside the mandate of AVRC to ensure that water  got to individual households.


Our mandate is to focus on the technical, financial and human managerial objectives of the situation”, he said, adding that although complaints from the public have upped tremendously, increasing the capacity and coverage of water supply remained a responsibility of government, reports Gifty A.Bamfo.


Of these unfolding development characterizing the managerial front, pundits believe a termination of the contract of AVRC appears imminent in the not-too-distant future, especially following persistent calls by parliament, especially from the minority bench, on government to abrogate the contract.


Analysts also believe the blame game ignited against government by the AVRC makes a farce out of the country’s enviable feat as the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) ahead of the scheduled 2015.


Goal seven of the MDG which is premised on ensuring environmental sustainability aims, among other objectives, to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, and also to integrate  principles of sustainable development into national policies and programs to reverse the loss of environmental resources.


With the current managerial crisis coupled with the ever-increasing population of Accra, averting the crisis of water shortages may yield minimal results but practicable steps could be taken to mitigate their impact on the citizenry.


First, there is the need for the GWCL and government to build a stronger  and effective culture of maintenance to save the about 30 percent of water lost through pipe leakages.


Besides, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies should, without fear, favor and discrimination, enforce bye-laws regarding flouting regulations on accessing water, especially illegal connections and of unpaid bills, and apply the necessary sanctions on culprits.


Government should also, aside been proactive towards the situation, marshal stronger measures to review, as well as evaluate, the performance of the AVRC to inform its decision-making process towards finding a solution to the water crisis.




June 5, 2008 - Posted by | News

1 Comment »

  1. I truly agree with consciousness awakening part of the post.!
    People rating poverty as poor from their hearts is the first step towards any revolution to be taking place..

    The Millennium Development goals of the this principle..!
    They want people to think..question themselves and then come forward to their bit in the cause..!
    It has being doing enormous efforts on these lines….
    This year UN will be shifting its focus on India, with Stand Up and Take action event and getting many hands together to fulfill the 8 goals…
    Be updated….with the latest happeningss..

    Comment by aditi | July 4, 2008 | Reply

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