The World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) has initiated discussions with the managements of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL) on how to find a comprehensive and sustainable solution to problem facing urban water supply in Ghana.
Mr. Ishac Diwan, World Bank Country Director said that the World Bank has moved from the stage of exploring the possibility of supporting the sector to actually starting the process towards finding a lasting solution to the problems facing the sector.
“We began a brainstorming session today, during which we identified specific areas where support will be needed to bring a more comprehensive solution to bear on the urban water sector,” he said.
Mr. Diwan, however, pointed out that the AfDB’s involvement is only at the exploratory stage.
He said at the brainstorming session, it emerged that the main challenges facing the sector are those of inadequate water production, obsolete transmission and distribution systems and huge losses being made due to leakages and piracy.
The World Bank in 2006 provided a grant of $150 million to the Government of Ghana under which AVRL was competitively awarded a five-year management contract to help reduce loses in potable water and water revenue by 25 per cent.
The AVRL contract will end in 2011, but the World Bank, by this new development, has indicated its continuous interest in supporting the sector in a more comprehensive manner.
Mr. Diwan proposed that in order to deal effectively with the challenges, there is the need to map out a plan that will address them in parallel by working on the expansion of the production capacity, rehabilitation of the distribution networks and collecting of the revenue at the same time.
He said the expansion of the water supply system have not been able to catch up with the fast moving residential and industrial development in the country.
Mr. Diwan said part of the problem is because the water production and supply plan of the country was last updated in 1990 and has outlived its usefulness.
After the brainstorming session, the management of GWCL and AVRL took the officials of the WB and AfDB on a familiarisation and fact finding tour of the Kpong Water Works.
Mr. Charles Brobbey, the Production Manager at the Kpong Station, told the delegation that even though the plant takes 53 million gallons of raw water a day, it produces 36 million gallons for both urban and rural Accra.
Meanwhile the Chinese Exim Bank has expressed readiness to invest over $200 million into the expansion of Kpong headwork’s and raise its production capacity by at least 40 million gallons over the next five years.
Source: GNA / Ghana Government. 18 Dec 2009