water
mineral water

Sometimes it?s so disheartening and difficult to comprehend why when groups or individuals entrusted with state assets sit aloof and allow such assets to go waste, thus letting the poor tax payer?s money godown the drain.
waterOne such group of people are the management and staff of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL). In fact this state institution has carved a very bad niche for itself as one institution which is badly manage as well as the poorest service provider in the country.
As part of its mandate to continuously draw the attention of government and all stakeholders to issues of water, sanitation and hygiene, Members of the Ghana Watsan Journalists Network (GWJN) undertook a three-day field research.
The field work which lasted from Thursday, March 19, to Saturday, March 21 identified some bottlenecks which still exist in the supply of clean water to communities and households in the Greater AccraRegion.
The field work covered four strategic areas which have been without water for ages but for the intervention of the recently completed expansion of the Kpone Water Station by the government.Some households were boys and girls under 16 years have never seen taps flowing in their homes have begunexperiencing water flowing through their taps for the first time in their lives.
These carefully chosen areas include the Shai Osudoku area, Teshie-Nungua (including Lashiebi and Spintex Road), Adenta-Madina-Frafraha area) as well as Dome-Kwabenya-East, West and North Legon which have been described as the worst hit areas.
One striking thing which was common in all these areas mentioned is the massive number of burst pipe-lines which had been unattended to by managers of GWCL even though residents and other patriotic Ghanaians have reported such anomalies to them since December 2014 when water started flowing regularly.
As if those who first reported this wastage did not matter, the GWJN research findings which was wildly published by most of the media houses in the country and copied to GWCL?s offices have received no attention by the authorities in charge.
During the week-end I decided to go back to the areas my group visited (Madina- Adenta and its environs) to ascertain the current state of the pipe-lines as water is being distributed, but unfortunately nothing has change as treated water still gushes out like nobody?s business.
The velocity of treated water that gushes out on daily bases and goes to waste is believed by some experts I spoke to,to be more than 70% of the volume of GWCL?s treated water servedto Accra and its environs.
Thisaccording to them has caused many households to be denied easy access to safe and clean water, water which the state has invested in treating for their consumption.
Although there is ample proof that water supply to these communities has improved greatly, there are huge chunk of households who still lack access to water.
Major Contributing Factors to Lack of Access
Lack of access by manyhouseholds is due to the inefficiencies, ineffective supply chain, and in some areas non-existent distribution network.
Another factor contributing to this pathetic situation,is the unplanned fast-pace of growth and expansion of these communities.Now most agricultural lands in Accra todayhave been turned into residential areas without basic amenities like water distributing lines (pipe lines), motorable roads and electricity which are the most essential for our survival.
The most interesting or the saddest aspect of these new communities? springing up rapidly is that documentations or lay-out maps covering all these areas on paper shows that there are no human beings living there. These areas are under classification of agricultural lands and forest reserves, even though on grounds there are thousands of households there.So the question is what are the city planners doing that they get paid at the end of the month?
With such situations it is a fact that the state has no immediate plan to provide these spring-up communities with basic amenities like water distributing lines (pipe lines), motorable roads, schools, clinics/hospitals, recreational facilities and electricity.
Today, because of the huge housing deficit, anybody at all gets up and start building, be it on water course, cemetery, forest reserve and what have you. They do this without notifying the appropriate authorities to be advice as to whether such areas have been earmark for human settlement, let alone to talk of extending basic amenities like water, electricity and road to such areas. They don?t do this before putting up their buildings, only to turn around to blame government for their woes.
Though government need to speed up her game by providing for her citizens, we as individuals should be responsible enough for our actions and inactions.
Broken pipes linesare another factor hampering distribution of the number one essential commodity (water) to millions of households. This unacceptable act in the 21st century has resulted in the spilling of treated water meant for human consumption.
My checks within La-Nkwantanan electoral area near Madina for example, revealed that out of about 200secondary distribution networks only 19 are working currently, with a whopping 86 broken down.
According to the former assemblymember of the area, Hon. Alhaji Faila Ibrahim, his interactions with GWCL officials revealed that one unit of thesesecondary distribution line will costs about GHc 4.000.00 (Four Thousand Ghana Cedis), which means poor households and communities cannot afford to raise such huge investments into such networks in the short term.
Also important is the massive numbers of burst pipe-lines discovered in these communities.Some residents hinted that treated water gushes out like nobody?s business, not even those who own these lines nor the service provider (GWCL) care a hoot about these huge wastages which affects smooth flow of water. Thishas caused many households to be denied easy access to safe and clean water.
Why is the management of GWCL still at post without been fired for non-performance? Will any of them run the company the way they are running it, if it is their private property? They are so lackadaisical because whether they generate funds or not, they will get their fat salaries, allowances and other bonuses at the end of each month.
Solution
Government through the appropriate ministries should institute sanctioning and if necessary sack non-performing management and staff to bring efficiency into the operations of GWCL.
Yes, there is no doubt that government has made huge investments in this sector hence the upsurge in the production units and the supply capacity at the various pumping stations, especially the Kpone Water Works. This multi-million dollar investment will go to waste if there are no commensurate investments in the areas of distribution networking systems.
Believeit or not, it is an undeniable fact thatstill millions of households in Shai Osudoku and its environs, Teshie-Nungua (including Lashiebi and Spintex Road), Adentan Commandos, Frafraha, New Legon, Animal Research area, Madina as well as Dome-Kwabenya-East, West and North Legoncannot access this life enhancing amenity (safe and clean water) due to growth in the size of these communities and the obsolete or non-existent distribution networks.
It is on this note that I make this humbly appeal to the government and stakeholders in the WASH sector to take steps to address the serious lag in distribution networks which denies households easy access to the potable and safe water meant for them.
Because scientific research has proven that with clean and safe sources of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), governments elsewhere save over 60 per cent of its budget on health. This is because about 60 per cent of Out-Patients Department (OPD) reported cases are WASH related.
Prevention they say is better than cure. Let us embrace the prevention method to free ourselves from all these WASH related illness.

Source: By: Franklin Asare-Donkoh
Email: [email protected]
Tel. 0242353242

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