The Africa Water Network says that private water company Aqua Vitens Rand Limited, which manages water services in Ghana, must go.
“Water services delivered to the Ghanaian public must be among the worst in the world. Under Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL), the private company that is being paid millions of dollars of our public resources to ‘manage’ the water service, things are getting worse. In addition to unbelievable scandal of millions of hard currency paid to these most undeserving ‘foreign management experts’, ordinary people’s water charges are going up all the time – water prices for consumers have gone up a MINIMUM of 67 per cent since AVRL took over in 2006. We do not deserve this. AVRL MUST GO NOW!”
This is how the AWN press release starts. Further on it recalls the “controversy and allegations of corruption and dumping of unusable technology [such as "old meters from Netherlands"] and chemicals on Ghanaians”.
And while “while water workers [...] are subjected to ‘hardship, exploitation and dis-respect” and denied their legal exercise of trade union rights [...] a few expatriates calling themselves AVRL are being paid millions of dollars from public funds”.
“The General Secretary of the Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU, the water workers union) has called for an enquiry by the Public Enterprises Commission into some of AVRL’s apparently illegal appointment practices”, AWN says. It also lambasts AVRL boss Andrew Barber for failing “to attend a scheduled standing committee meeting on the CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement]” and instead taking ” ‘shareholders’ from Netherlands around to inspect part of their ‘empire’ at the Kpong works”.
Contact: Al-Hassan Adam, Coordinator, Africa Water Network, Ghana, tel: +233-21248745, +233-244208184, Email: alhassan.adam [at] gmail.com
Full statement: AWN / Pambazuka News, 05 Jun 2009
See also: Charles Takyi-Baodu, Ghana: Abrogate Acqua Vitens Contract -NGO, The Chronicle / allAfrica.com, 24 March 2009,
A request for an official reaction to AWN’s statement was sent to Aqua Vitens Rand Ltd on 11 June 2009.