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$120 Million For Urban Water Project

By Ghana News Agency

The Government and its development partners have made available $120 million for a five-year Urban Water Project (UWP), which is aimed at improving water supply in some urban areas and regions.

Mr Michael Agyeman, Chief Public Relations Manager of the Ghana Water Company (GWC), who made this known, said that the UWP was being funded by the World Bank, which was the major contributor, with $103 million , $12 million from the Nordic Development Fund with the Ghana Government providing $5 million.

The programme, he said, had four components, namely, System Expansion and Rehabilitation; Public-Private Partnership Development; Capacity-Building and Project Management and Severance Programme.
He explained that under the project, as part of reforms in the country's urban water sector, GWC, the grantor, has signed a Management Contract with a company, Vitens Rand Water Services, from the Netherlands, through its subsidiary, Aqua Vitra Limited.

The chief manager said the subsidiary would manage and operate urban water systems to meet set targets for a fixed fee.

Mr Agyeman stated that the operator would have access to GWC's assets, which it could not sell but would remain the property of Ghanaians through GWC.

"Ownership of the raw water to be treated by the operator also remains with the people of Ghana, through the Water Resources Commission."

Mr Agyeman said that apart from increasing and improving access to piped water systems in urban areas, it would make the commodity affordable and regular to the urban poor, restore long-term financial stability, viability and sustainability of GWC.

Mr Agyeman explained that the System Expansion and Rehabilitation component was to support and increase the amount of treated water for sale.

It would also extend service to low income areas and rehabilitate the existing network to reduce non-revenue water.

The chief manager said, seconded staff would be trained and technical assistance offered under the capacity building and project management phase.

He said the Public-Private Partnership Development component would support the payment of the operator under the management contract, as well as pay the technical and financial auditors to measure the operator's performance.—GNA