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14.03.2008 General News

Water shortageStop blaming the government

By Accra Mail
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A spokesperson for Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies, Mr. Philip Agyemang-Duah has cautioned Ghanaians to stop blaming the government for the acute water shortage in the country because they are also part of the problem.

“We, ourselves also contribute to the problem of water shortage in our communities”.

In an interview with ADM, Mr. Agyemang-Duah said people who usually blame the government for misconduct and failing to live up to expectations, are often culpable themselves.

He said people tamper with and tap into some major pipelines through illegal connections without consulting the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).

This, he said, creates a situation where most taps don't flow freely or produce unclean water.

Others, he said, pollute various water bodies with untreated chemicals that affect the quality and potency of water supply in most parts of the cities.

Mr. Agyemang-Duah said, “water is life” and bemoaned the rate at which people misuse water in their homes despite the shortages.

He said water should be well managed no matter the circumstance.”Whether, you have excess in your home or not”. He advised house owners who refuse to pay their bills to start paying them or “face the law when caught” and appealed to tenants to report all cases involving illegal connections and non-payment of bills to the GWCL.

Mr. Agyemang-Duah said other immediate causes of acute water shortage are power interruptions such as the shut down of various dams' transmission lines due to maintenance, repair of serious leakages and low voltage.

He said when there's a five-minute power outage, it takes at least five hours to restore water.

The impact of these occurrences on water supply, he said, is enormous and therefore needs the combined effect of the planned and unforeseen power outages at the two plants, Weija and Kpong, conspired to aggravate an already uncomfortable water supply situation in Accra.

“Power supply is an important factor in ensuring availability and continuity in water supply”, he said.

In order to stabilize power supply to the treatment plants, GWCL is working together with ECG for dedicated power lines to especially the Weija and Kpong Water Treatment Plants and the Accra and Tema Booster Stations to minimize power interruption to these facilities.

He said water supply to the Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area totals about 85 million gallons per day from the Weija and Kpong Treatment Plants. The current delivery is about 76 million gallons per day.

The demand is over 150 million gallons per day which leaves a deficit of nearly 74 million gallons per day.

The situation has given rise to a rationing system in the city to make available some water to residents at various times.

He mentioned that through the rationing system, some areas which hitherto had reasonable amounts of water supply may now be experiencing less frequent supplies while those areas which have for a very long time not received any water supplies may now be receiving some water.

The rationing programme would ensure that at least most residents in Accra receive some water some of the time rather than some few areas receiving reasonable amounts of water to the detriment of other residents who do not receive any at all.

Despite these efforts, Mr. Agyemang-Duah said the dry season has also increased demand for use of water putting extra strain on the rationing programme.

He encouraged everyone to assist government and the GWCL in the efforts of providing potable and free flow of water to the Ghanaian community.

He challenged the GWCL to set up monitoring, management and controlling task force teams to combat the non-payment of water revenues and check all illegal connections.

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