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12.08.2003 General News

Privatisation is not answer to water delivery - MP

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Accra, Aug.12, GNA - Government must adopt a more pragmatic approach to improving access to water instead of relying on privatisation as if that was the only option opened to it, Mr Harry Van Boome, Netherlands Member of Parliament said on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Van Boome said water distribution to most households in Ghana could be enhanced once corruption was curbed and good management systems were put in place to ensure efficient performance of the Ghana Water Company.

Mr Van Boome, who is the Leader of a team of Dutch Socialist Parliamentarians, who on a fact-finding mission on water privatisation, said the problems of the water company, did not arise because production cost was more than what accrued in revenue but because there was too much waste in the system due to poor management methods.

He said the situation where government would go in for loans from the IMF or the World Bank with the conditionality to mortgage their water supply system to foreign companies was not tenable.

As an alternative, Mr Van Boome suggested a partnership experiment of water supply system, where communities would be involved in the reading of metres and collection of revenue on behalf of the water company. Mr Van Boome cited the success story of the Savulugu community in the Northern Region, where such a system currently operates on experimental basis. 12 Aug. 03

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