General News of 2014-01-21

Pre-paid water metering will punish the poor – ISODEC

Civil society group, Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC) says the decision by government and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to introduce pre-paid meters for water consumption ''amounts to punishing people for being poor''.
''You are leaving those who are doing illegal connections, the leakages, etc.''
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Coordinator of the Center, Dr Steve Manteaw said the introduction of pre-paid meters will be a disadvantage to the poor and the masses.
''... I think the concern should rather be about moving those who are actually paying exorbitantly to service connection so that they can at least obtain water at an affordable price; actually the situation where a section of the Ghanaian population is buying water cheaply and others are buying it more expensive is not the way to go.''
According to him, it is government's responsibility to find money to expand GWCL to provide water to all areas.
Mr. Manteaw also argued that the introduction of the pre-paid meters will not address the investment needs of the Ghana Water Company Limited.
''I don't see how introducing pre-paid metering solves that investment needs; because the technical audit of Ghana Water Company itself shows that they are loosing 40 percent of their treated water through burst pipes, illegal connections, over spills and leakages at their production sites...''
''Tell me how pre-paid metering will resolve that,'' he asked.
He reiterated the fact that government must have its priorities right else the plight of the poor who buy water at high prices will be increased.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Parliament Select Committee on Water Resources, Works and Housing, David Tetteh Assuming said the parliamentary committee would meet the GWCL and government to discuss the details of the programme the water company wants to pilot.