GWCL needs US$2bn to attain 100% coverage


The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) says it will require US$2billion to attain 100 percent water coverage in the country’s urban cities by 2025.

Currently, the GWCL is able to provide about 77 percent coverage owing to addition in its production capacity over the past few years — including the Teshie-Nungua Desalination plant, the Kpong water project, and other projects being carried out across the country.

Speaking at a press briefing in Accra to defend last year’s tariff increment, and why the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) should not yield to demands of the Trades Union Congress for a downward revision of the tariffs, Cephas T. Oguah-Chief Manager, Corporate Planning of Ghana Water Company, noted that if the country is to attain 100 percent water coverage by 2025 an amount of US$2billion will be required.

“The water tariff increment we are experiencing was made with the highest consideration to the consumer.

It doesn’t reflect the real cost of water, but we understand that water is a necessity that must be made affordable.

“The company is undertaking numerous projects across the country.

We are also dealing with many challenges including the increasing threat of galamsey and other human activities which pollute our raw water sources.

All these are taking a toll on our resources,” he said.

Late last year, just before the yuletide, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission announced increases in electricity and water tariffs of 59.2% and 67.2% respectively, but the Trades Union Congress is demanding a reduction of the tariffs to 50 percent.

According to the GWCL, most of its raw water sources across the country, especially the southern parts, are ‘highly’ polluted — increasing cost of treatment about two-fold, and in some cases causing a complete shutdown of operations.

The Communications Manager of GWCL, Stanley Martey, commenting on the company’s expansion drive agenda said the GWCL is currently embarking on projects at a total cost of US$676million across the country, adding: “When all these projects are completed, it will increase our coverage by 10 percent”.

The Chief Manager-Water Quality, Jonas Jabulo, explained that GWCL is currently working closely with the relevant authorities to deal with the issue of raw water sources pollution by illegal mining activities and the growing threat posed by fishing activities along the Volta Lake.

“Activities of galamsey operators is worrying.

Most of the dams, rivers and lakes we get the raw water from are being polluted, and when this happens we expend so much in treating the water.”

Besides the challenges, he said: “I want to assure Ghanaians that our water is safe for drinking”.

Are you sure the sachet-water you drink is clean? I have done studies on sachet water and the result is nothing to write home about.

“We have state of the art laboratories and we are also being constantly checked by both the Ghana Standards Authority and the PURC, but I understand the fact that in some cases there is interference with our distribution lines.”

Going forward, the GWCL urges customers who live in compound houses to acquire individual meters, in order to fall within the domestic metered category.

This category is classified as lifeline consumers and pay GH3 for every 1,000 gallons of water.



Source: B&FT Online