General News Fri, 16 Nov 2001

NPP lashes out at critics of water privatisation

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Wednesday dismissed criticisms of the government's water privatisation policy as hypocritical. It said the policy was aimed solely at making it possible for those who use treated water to pay the full cost of the treatment.

"The policy, no doubt, is equitable and will also free the taxpayers' money to enable government extend good pipe-borne water to many areas," a press release signed in Accra by Mr Kwadwo Afari, Press Secretary, said.

It said the present arrangement where those who did not have access to good drinking water but contributed to the national subsidy was not fair.

The NPP described the stand of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), People's National Convention (PNC), Convention People's Party (CPP) and ISODEC, an NGO, in the current debate on the privatisation as "hypocritical and short-sighted".


The release said their stand was also "a con job by a vocal minority who want to win political points and also hold on to subsidies which are detrimental to the overwhelming majority of rural people who still drink dirty untreated water."

"The NPP also finds it very ironical that those who profess to fight on the side of the poor masses of this nation still insist that the very poor rural masses who do not have access to treated water should pay for treated water they do not consume."

The release said contrary to what the critics would want Ghanaians to believe, evidence available from most countries revealed that privatisation would lower the economic cost of treated water.

"The NPP challenges the NDC, PNC, CPP, ISODEC and all vested interests that have developed under the present subsided arrangement to come out from their ideological cloaks and bring into the open and answer the question of who should be subsidised - the rural poor who are in the majority or the urban minority who have access to treated water."

Source: .