ACID/Teshie residents urge government to absorb GWCL’s indebtedness

Accra� The Africa Centre for Integrity and Development (ACID) and Teshie Concerned Citizens Association have appealed to government to absorb the indebtedness of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) following the closure of the Nungua Desalination Plant.

They said the GWCL had to shut down the Plant on January 1, 2018, which supplied water to Teshie and Nungua, to enable it to cut down loses on energy and volumetric charges, which runs into millions of Ghana cedis.

Mr Fred Agbobli, the Senior Advisor of ACID, at a press conference, said the Nungua Desalination Plant, which was constructed at a whooping cost of 122 million dollars, was to solve the perennial water needs of the Teshie and Nungua communities.

This Plant; an ideal, cutting-edge, one-of-a-kind water delivery system in the country would have served its purpose, if it had met the operational expenditure and revenue expectations of the GWCL, but unfortunately it was the contrary, he said.

The press conference was organised by ACID, in collaboration with the Teshie Concerned Citizens Association (TCCA) to address issues on the shut-down of the Plant.

Key personalities at the press conference included Mr Ibrahim I. Tahir, the Executive Director, ACID and Mr Tagoe Seth Amatey, the TCCA Chairman.

Mr Agbobli said though the facility was to supply desalinated water daily to the two communities, the operational and production cost involved made it economically nonviable to GWCL.

The monthly cost of producing the water was GH 11 million, as against a revenue of GH 2 million, he said, adding that this puts the company in a revenue deficit of GHc 9 million per month.

Obviously, this was not good business to say the least, Mr Agbobli said.

He said the GWCL was making alternative arrangements to supply the catchment communities with enough water to enable them to shut-down the Plant.

To this end, they have contracted the laying of pipes from Spintex to Teshie, Mr Agbobli said.

To know the position of members of the Teshie Community on GWCL’s closure of the Plant, we went to Teshie to meet and discuss the issue with the executives of the TCCA, who themselves had many complaints against the Plant in terms of the high salinity level of the water produced, its long-term health-hazards on their people, and the challenges of rationing the water.

For this and other reasons of much concern to the people, the Association was in favour of the closure of the Plant, and had asked GWCL to make alternative arrangements to adequately supply them with potable water from the Kpong Water Works, he said.

Mr Agbobli said after the shut-down the Association appealed to the GWCL to endeavour to find a permanent solution to the water problem in Teshie and its environs.

He said the situation, if not quickly addressed, would jeopardise the GWCL projections; however good the intentions may be.

Mr Agbobli said this notwithstanding it was worthy of note that the shut-down did not invalidate the Water Purchase Agreement (WPA), which was an integral part of the Desalination Project.

He said the GWCL, under the Agreement, was to pay 1,420,650 dollars a month as capacity charge to Befesa Desalination Development Ghana Limited until the State took a decision to absorb the indebtedness.

He said GWCL’s indebtedness to the WPA was a huge constraint to its objective of providing water for all strata of society.

Source: Ghana News Agency