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24.04.2004 General News

PSP in water would improve supply to high density areas

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Ho, April 24, GNA - The participation of the Private Sector in the country's water supply system would enable those living in high density areas to have access to potable water on regular basis at affordable prices.

The Private Sector Participation (PSP) would increase access to sustainable water supply, especially to high density communities such as Nima, New Town, Agbogbloshie and Madina all in Accra and similar areas in other major towns.

Mr Emmanuel Nkrumah, Director of the Project Management Unit of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), said these at a media encounter at Ho on Saturday.

Presenting a paper on: "The Reform Process: From 1994 to Date", Mr Nkrumah said the PSP would ensure that poor households have access to potable water at affordable prices due to improved management and steady flow of adequate low-cost concessionary financing from Ghana's development partners.

He said Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Cameroon, Niger, Mali, and Gabon had been on the PSP for long while Benin, Togo and Nigeria were in the process of adopting the system. Mr Nkrumah said Ghana's PSP would be under a management contract where GWCL pays the Operator, unlike under a lease where customers pay the Operator.

He said the institutional arrangement under the management contract had the operator running the entire system with a General Manager and between 10 and 12 specialists advising the Government on annual investment programme and preparing implementation plans that could be monitored.

Mr Nkrumah said the GWCL would continue to own the assets, monitor the activities of the operator and be responsible for sector planning and development.

He said the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) would continue to determine the tariffs, so the operator could not arbitrarily increase them while the Ghana Standard Board would ensure that the water quality met international standards.

Mr Nkrumah said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would ensure that the operator complied with the country's environmental laws. The cost of the Urban Water Project, which would be run under the PSP, is 135 million dollars.

The physical works would include the provision of new production and transmission facilities, as well as rehabilitation of existing production and transmission facilities, network rehabilitation and extension to low-income and peri-urban areas at 103 million dollars. The media encounter brought together journalists from both the public and private media houses and was addressed by the Minister of Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris.

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