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19.09.2004 General News

Three bodies denounce water privatisation

By GNA

Sunyani, Sept 19, GNA - A co-ordinator of the National Coalition Against Privatisation of Water on Friday said the government's decision to privatise the Ghana Water Company Limited would be disastrous for ordinary Ghanaians.

Mr Mohammed Bingle Yakubu said the poor would suffer less access, higher prices and lower quality of water.

He was speaking at a one-day forum in Sunyani that the Coalition organised in collaboration with Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) and the Trade Union Congress.

The forum was under the theme, "Water is life, and our world is not for sale".

He said as part of the government's decision to privatise water, poor rural and urban communities had been cut off from the GWCL network. Mr. Yakubu attributed the inefficient performance of the GWCL to lack of transparency and accountability and called for effective management in the running of the company.

"We need a public service that is transparently managed on the basis of the needs and priorities of the public it is supposed to serve," he added.

Mr Samuel Ofori Boakye, the Regional Manager of ISODEC, said accessibility to water was an essential human need and right and described the government's decision to privatise the commodity as a grave mistake.

He called on civil society to help ensure that the interest of the poor and the marginalized were considered as the nation pursued such agenda.

Mr Boakye urged Ghanaians to resist attempts by the government to privatise GWCL to ensure total access to potable water.

Mr David Pessey, a representative of the National Reform Party, warned that the government's decision to privatise water would tear society apart and it was unjust and dangerous for society. "Water is national security and the government's decision is a worse option as it will endanger our health", he said.

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