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30.08.2002 General News

Water Report is Bogus & Fraudulent - Ministry

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The Ministry of Works and Housing has described the report of the International Fact-Finding Mission (IFFM) on Water Sector Reform in Ghana, 2002 as "bogus and fraudulent".

A statement issued and signed by the acting Chief Director, Mr. Ohene Okai said there was no consensus among the 12-member team of experts on the content and conclusion of the report. Mr. Ohene Okai said the report therefore cannot be accepted as reflecting the entire group. He asked that if members of the team did not believe in the report as a true reflection of their findings and therefore did not endorse it, why was it presented to Ghanaians as a report of the team of experts?

He also queried the Coalition Against Privatisation of Water (CAP of Water) why they hid this vital information from Ghanaians when they launched the report on August 21. The statement explained that while the professionals on the team expressed satisfaction with the water sector reforms, the activists argued on pointless issues. The statement said members of IFFM were handpicked and sponsored by ISODEC/ CAP of water and their foreign collaborators and it is therefore not an independent body as Ghanaians are made to believe.

It added that only four professional could be recognised among the 12-member team. The statement said the IFFM report stated that the public-managed water supply system that had existed in Ghana over the last 40 years with the GWCL responsible for production, distribution, development, maintenance and billing has produced unsatisfactory results.

It said the report also criticises the current Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) lease arrangement being pursued by the government as not being the optimal option, but then the IFFM concedes that it has no alternative to the PPP lease option. The statement said the inability of the "so-called international experts in water to develop an alternative to the PPP arrangement is a vindication that the PPP lease option, under the circumstances, is a viable alternative to the public managed water supply system that has produced unsatisfactory results.

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