The Communications Manager of Aqua Vitens Rand, Stanley Martey has defended the company’s performance as far as managing non-revenue water [water allowed to go waste] is concerned.
Aqua Vitens was contracted by the government of Ghana to manage the distribution of water and operations of the Ghana Water Company.
The company was expected to reduce the non-accountable water produced by the Ghana Water Company from about 48 per cent as at 2000 to 26 per cent by now, but the figure is said to be currently a bit over 51 per cent.
Speaking on Multi TV’s current affairs program, PM EXPRESS, Mr. Martey blamed the increase in waste water on the delays on the part of the Ghana Water Company Limited [GWCL] to supply bulk meters to effectively check the non-revenue water.
According to him, the meters were delivered three and a half years after the contract with AVRL was signed. “The bulk meters are supposed to use power [and] for us to connect power it’s taken us over a year. The contract is almost ended” he revealed.
Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban Bagbin last week told Joy FM even though AVRL has not performed well, government was yet to take a decision on whether or not to renew its management contract which expires next month.
While admitting that AVRL has failed in some respect, Mr. Martey said AVRL was not solely responsible.
“We understand why, for instance, there was a delay in putting out the bulk meters, the zonal meters and all that. There was a delay because of procurement issues and other issues. They [GWCL] have their own challenges and it’s accepted. If you have your challenges and as a result you’re not able to perform and it also implies that we were not able to perform because of that one, you shouldn’t blame us” he said.
Mr. Martey described the relationship with GWCL as a “symbiotic” one saying “we depend on them for certain things to be done so do they also depend on us for certain things to be done. If they are supposed to perform to enable me perform and you do not perform, you cannot say that I have failed” he added.
He noted that Accra is experiencing a shortfall of 50 million gallons of water per day and would require another treatment plant, the size of the Weija treatment plant to address the shortfall.
But the Coordinator for Essential Services at civil society group ISODEC, Leonard Shang-Quartey said government made a mistake in the first place to contract AVRL to solve a purely “financial issue and not a management issue”.
According to him, “AVRL was a huge mistake… The way forward is for GWCL to take up the management responsibility.”
Story by Nii Akrofi Smart-Abbey/Multi TV/Ghana