Further to the Presidential directive on the provision of free water to the Ghanaian population during the COVID-19 Emergency Response period, April to June 2020, the Management of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) led by the Chief Executive, Ing. Worlanyo Kwadjo Siabi has issued instructions to guide the Agency's Regional Directors and Water System Management Staff on the implementation of the directive in the CWSA managed pipe water systems in small towns.
Speaking from the CWSA Head Office in Accra, the Chief Executive underscored the importance of the practice of proper handwashing with soap as a major protocol in the prevention of the spread of Covid-19. Accordingly, he reiterated the need for CWSA to ensure that there is a continuous flow of water to facilitate good hygiene and handwashing in communities. He entreated all staff of CWSA to work diligently to ensure that the directive of the President is fully carried out and issued the following guidelines.
Category of customers to be provided with free water - Regional Directors and Water System Management Staff are to provide free water for the next three months to domestic and public institutional consumers such as the police and health institutions. These categories of consumers are exempted from paying water bills during the three months period as directed by the President.
Segmentation of Water Consumers - Industrial and commercial users of water including those within the household and institutional installations are not covered by the free water provision and should, therefore, be billed appropriately to pay for water consumed for such commercial purposes. Water System Management Staff must, therefore, validate their customer segmentation data to distinguish commercial and industrial users from domestic customers to avoid classifying them as domestic consumers.
Provision of Water at Prepaid Standpipes - Where prepaid tokens are used, CWSA staff will load up to forty (40) litres per person per day. Staff are also to ensure that individuals holding the tokens would make known the total number of persons per household. These household numbers provided should be verified by the staff for accuracy and data compilation.
Meter Reading and Billing - April to June 2020 – Water system staff will continue with their normal daily duties of reading of the meters, calculating and distributing bills to customers. CWSA will indicate on the bills that Government has absorbed the bills for the period (April to June 2020) and explain to customers they are not to pay the bills within the three months period. The staff, he noted, are to carry out all expected duties in satisfying and retaining the confidence of the consumers.
Instructions to Vendors and Behaviour at Public Standpipes - To ensure that the Covid-19 prevention protocols are duly adhered to by community members at the public standpipes, the Chief Executive directed that water vendors should observe the following:
• Vendors should continue to use normal opening hours for the provision of free water.
• In every community, a standpipe should be designated to sell water solely to industrial and commercial users.
• Water Vendors should serve one consumer at a time and ensure the observance of the social distancing protocols in force to avoid crowding at all times.
• Where consumers fail to observe the social distancing protocols and mass up at the standpipe, the vendor must temporarily close the tap until an order is restored to save lives.
• Drums and barrels exceeding the size of the usual containers (buckets, basins and the 'Yellow gallon') are prohibited at the public standpipes. The Chief Executive explained that the filling of such big receptacles by one person during the normal fetching hours has the potential of stirring controversy, creating agitation over the time used by that one person in filling his or her receptacles, as others wait in the queue.
The Chief Executive, Ing. Worlanyo Kwadjo Siabi said that the Community Water and Sanitation Agency would like to assure Ghanaians of a continuous flow of water throughout the designated period. In addition, the Agency is currently distributing handwashing facilities with soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizers to its offices, community clinics and CHPS Compounds in all CWSA managed water system communities nationwide to facilitate proper handwashing with soap as a measure to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
About the CWSA
The Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) is the public service institution under the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, responsible for providing safe water, water-related sanitation, and hygiene promotion services to rural communities and small towns in Ghana.