Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Review of water tariff is essential-GWCL

The Chief Manager, Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), in-charge of Planning and Development, has really expressed the need for a review of the tariffs paid by commercial consumers of water. “Public Utility Regulatory Commission should ensure that consumers especially the industrial setups pay economic tariffs to the State.”
Ebenezer Kobina Garbrah, who disclosed this last week at a at a day familiarization tour of the Weija Head works and alternatively interact with Management of Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL) and GWCL in Accra. “The provision of potable water which is very essential is being affected by poor planning and lack of adequate consideration by the authorities in- charge coupled with cumbersome process of land acquisition and the protection of water resources.” He also called for attitudinal changes both among water staff and consumers. The Managing Director of AVRL critically outlined some activities of his outfit and said “AVRL was competitively awarded a five-year funded contract, spanning November 2006- 2011 as operator in the Urban Water Sector, with GWCL as the grantor. As part of the contract AVRL, was mandated to make the sector financially viable by improving water distribution and revenue collection, cutting down on non-revenue water, reducing chemical usage and cost as well as energy consumption. AVRL, which is a joint venture between Vitens of Holland and Rand Water of South Africa, is operating on non-profit basis. The company therefore did not make any investments in Ghana to mandate it to determine tariffs.”Andrew Barber further reiterated that, contract sum of $103 million grant was acquired from the World Bank, $12 million counter-funding from the Government of Ghana and $5million from the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and the NDF went directly to AVRL for minor repairs, replacements and rehabilitation during the five-year contract period. And on the other hand GWCL who served as a grantor managed the $103 million of the World Bank grant for the purposes of major capital investments, regarding the large scale expansion works on the water production system. Journalist was also introduced to AVRL’s competitive Geographical Information System (GIS) which help management capture all activities of water from supply to consumer through a through a computer-base data Eunice who did the presentation said, “this was the best effect way in monitoring water user activities because the system detects illegal connections of water and help adequately in solving water delivery problems.”

Source: Michael Amedor

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