Accra, Dec. 9, GNA - The Ghana Water Company on Friday handed over its Sewerage Department to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in line with Government policy on sanitation. The Local Government Act (Act 462) and the Legislative Instrument establishing the assemblies states that all activities relating to sanitation were to be handed over to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
A memorandum of understanding and handing over notes were signed and exchanged in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Abraham Dwuma Odoom in Accra. Mr Odoom said the objectives of transferring the sanitation and sewerage functions from the Central Government to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies was to increase the accessibility of at least 90 per cent of the population to domestic toilets and the other 10 per cent to public toilets.
He said in line with these objectives, preparations were advanced for the African Development Bank to support AMA to improve sewerage operations in Accra by implementing the least cost and technically accepted sanitation facility for disposal of wastewater from the city in an environmentally acceptable manner. Mr Odoom said the responsibility being transferred to the AMA was enormous, since Go vernment's financial support to the local government was inadequate. He, however, challenged AMA to live up to the task saying "this operation, when properly managed and sustained, will serve as a major source of revenue to the AMA.
"You cannot afford to fail us. Because if you fail, all other cities cannot come on board as we expect," he told the City Authorities. Madam Helen Allotey, Director External Resource Mobilisation Multilateral Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, said the African Development Bank would assist the Government with 51.7 million dollars towards the sanitation improvement of Accra. Mr Samuel Odartey Lamptey, General Manager, GWCL, said in line with the transfer, about 1,500 staff of the Sewerage Department had been retrenched to allow AMA to recruit its own staff. He said revenue collection would be maintained by GWCL on behalf of AMA for the time being. Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, Mayor of Accra, noted that the transfer process started five years ago, saying that AMA was ready to shoulder the responsibility and live up to the task.