ModernGhana logo
30.11.2005 General News

Don't disconnect water to the poor areas - Coalition

Listen to article

Accra, Nov. 30, GNA - The Coalition Against the Privatisation of Water (NCAP) on Wednesday called for immediate cessation of all water disconnection in low-income communities and deprived areas as a check against cholera outbreak and water-borne diseases.

Mr Gyekye Tanoh, Acting National Coordinator of NCAP, who made the call at a press conference in Accra, said the mass disconnection exercise, which the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) had embarked upon since September was a disservice to the poor and would only add to their plight.

According to Mr Gyekye, disconnection of water supply, an essential commodity to deprived areas, was illegal worldwide and that more pragmatic solutions should be adopted in financing water. He suggested that property tax could be imposed on the rich, who owed such properties as a central element of sustainable financing and water reforms so that there would be money to finance water and other essential services.

Mr Gyekye in stating the Coalition's position on latest development, said the private sector participation in water supply for which a contract was signed on November 22 2005, between the Government and the two foreign companies, would not do Ghanaians any good. He said the supposed takeover of the management of GWCL by the two companies would never solve the mismanagement problem of the company but rather would lead to high tariffs, marginalisation of the poor in accessing potable water and increased dependence on foreign exchange. Mr Gyekye on behalf of NCAP further called for immediate financial settlement for the remaining GWCL workers and full restoration and guarantee of their collective bargaining and union rights.

NCAP also demanded the immediate scrapping of the planned imposition of VAT on sachet water, saying that would only be a move to increase taxation on the water that ordinary people consumed. 30 Nov. 05