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07.04.2005 General News

Urban Water Project Operational In September

The Urban Water Project will become operational by September this year after tenders for the project have been evaluated at the end of this month.

After the evaluation, an agreement will be signed with the best bidder, the Communication Specialist of the project, Mr Enimil Ashon, said in an interview yesterday.

He said after an agreement had been signed, the best bidder would be given some time to mobilize resources for business to start by September. “The successful operator will make decisions, including water supply, treatment and delivery, billing, collection and supervision of employees,” he said.

Mr Ashon said the operator would be responsible for operating the assets of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) on daily basis to deliver potable water, maintain water quality and reduce chemical usage.

During the operations of the operator, the top management of GWCL would oversee and implement the contract, while the company that would win the bid would take over all non-retrenched employees, except those at the GWCL Head Office.

Mr Ashon said the operator would bring in a top management team of up to 10 specialists and it would also be at liberty to invite specialists to Ghana for short periods to address particular concerns or problems.

According to him, eight companies were participating in the bidding process but he declined to name them for business considerations. He also pointed out that one of the bidders, Biwater Company, which was alleged to have pulled out of the bidding process, had stated its position in a letter to the originators of the allegation.

A copy of the letter, signed by the Chief Executive of Biwater, Mr Larry Magor, in reply to a request by a Non-Governmental Organisation, the World Development Movement, noted that “we have yet to decide whether we will tender for the project in Ghana, but if we do and we win, the people of Ghana will benefit”.

Mr Ashon noted that the World Bank was contributing a grant of $103 million to the project. He said the government had provided $12 million, while the Nordic Development Fund of Norway was contributing 4 million euros.

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