GWCL to put MDAs on prepaid…as debt rises to GHȼ183m

Officials of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) are seriously considering putting Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MDAs) across the country on its prepaid metering system in a bid to lessen the rising debt owed by the government institutions.

The MDAs, according to the officials, owe the company in the region of GH ȼ183million as of September this year.

Information gathered indicate that the water generation and distribution company has already set up a committee to review and formulate policies and procedures for introducing the prepaid metering system to the MDAs, which could happen before the end of the year.

The piled-up water bills of government institutions have been penned as one of the major factors affecting operations of GWCL.

Ing. Richard Otoo Appiah, the Geographic Information Systems manager at GWCL, says the company spends huge sums of money to import water treatment items and that the failure of some customers to pay their bills promptly, coupled with incessant incidences of illegal connections, are some of the factors identified to be hampering the company’s operations.

At the climax of the company’s 50th anniversary on Friday, the Managing Director of GWCL Ing. Fred Lokko said it has played a significant role in the socio-economic wellbeing of Ghanaians.

Ing. Lokko disclosed that the company intends to be “more customer focused, as well as leverage on technology to serve the customer better”.

He also disclosed that next up for the company is the ‘strategic investment plans’ (SIP) agenda, which the company intends to pursue as part of reforms.

The strategic investment plan is prepared for systematic development of all urban water supply systems in the country.

It is estimated that about US$717million will have to be invested in water production to help increase current urban coverage to near-100% countrywide by 2025.

Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman, also said that the numerous complaints about operations of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) have subsided, and that the of the company’s image is gradually improving.

According to GWCL, the country’s water-demand will reach 13 billion cubic metres by 2020.

Presently, the company is lobbying for a 124 increment in tariffs, which the PURC is yet to rule on Officials say an increment in tariffs will help the company embark on an expansion drive, such as laying pipes in urban centres to improve water supply.

The company says it will need close to US$2billion for planned projects, spanning a ten-year period, in order to offer and sustain the supply of urban water delivery.

Additionally, the company maintains that 50 percent of revenues are being used to pay for electricity and loans, which puts a strain on its operations.