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Opinions Sat, 12 Dec 2009

Call for Investigation of Grants and Loans for Water in Ghana

By: Kwaku A. Danso

12/9/09

To: Honorable Speaker,

Ghana Parliament, Accra, Ghana

Dear Honorable Speaker,

In a letter to the President in January 2009 I had indicated the urgency of investigating and bringing to the public the full accounting of the huge amounts of moneys incurred as loans and grants for water in Ghana which have not been fully apprised and accounted for, whiles the large majority of Ghanaians, estimated at 75-80% of the population, still do not have adequate supply of potable water and water born diseases and malaria still kills more than 100,000 every year.

To date not much has been done on this and I have sent the attached letter to the World Bank that I think your Honorable Speaker should be aware of. It will be nice if our nation can investigate and resolve this before the world Bank comes out with any reports to give at least the indication to the world bodies that the Speaker of the House of Parliament of Ghana is on the job and active, and can cause an investigation of public funds and demand accountability.

Sincerely

Dr. Kwaku A. Danso

*************************************** REF: Request for The World Bank to Investigate Grants and Loans for Water to Ghana

I recently returned from a trip to and living in Ghana for two months. I made similar trips to Ghana in 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004. The situation with water delivery has not improved in many suburbs of Accra, the capital of Ghana, as well as in many rural areas, despite all the grants and loans and even the recommendation and hiring of a Management Company Vitens/Rand corporation.

During my studies about Ghana between 2004 and 2006, I had uncovered a World Bank grant of $103 million given to Ghana in January 2005 for rural and urban water development, and again a loan of $500 million in January 2006 for the same purpose. There have been other loans of course, bringing Ghana’s total indebtedness to $8.1 Billion as of January 2009.

Ghana today is still rationing water and in fact during my research in Ghana for my PhD dissertation, the Director of Ghana Water Company told me directly that since 1965 there has been no major expansion of the water treatment facilities in Ghana. The cost of drilling water wells, or piping water from the Volta lake dam area can be easily estimated and would not amount to the amount of loans given to Ghana. Replacement of pipes as mentioned in some of these articles and reports should not cost as the government officials cited and even if they did, the results are not showing in terms of delivery years after the debts have been incurred.

I’d like the World Bank to have investigated, and share with us how the said grants and loans moneys were disbursed, what equipment they were used to purchase, where in Ghana such equipment were installed and or facilities improvement were made, and when.

A few references are provided below. If you want me to submit this in another more formal way, please let me know and I will comply for such investigation to be conducted as a matter of a long overdue, necessary and urgent request on behalf of the millions of people of Ghana who are denied water despite these grants and loans.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kwaku A. Danso, M. Eng., PhD

President -Ghana Leadership Union, Inc. (GLU)

Moderator – GLU Global Internet Forum

#3 Boundary Road Ext., East Legon, Accra, Ghana

Email: k.danso@comcast.net

References:

1. The World Bank (2005, January 6). Ghana: World Bank Turns $103 Million Ghana Urban Water Credit to Grant: Retrieved from: http://web.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64027221&piPK=64027220&theSitePK=351952&menuPK=351984&Projectid=P056256

2. Ghana Homepage (2006, January 20). 500 million dollars to expand water infrastructure. Retrieved Feb.3, 2006 from: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=97940

3. Ghana – World Bank & Foreign Loans. Retrieved from Harold Doan & Associates: http://www.harolddoan.com/modules.php?name=News&new_topic=77

4. GhanaHomePage (2005, October 11). Hackman in trouble over water promise. Retrieved October 12, 2005 from: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=91866 5. GhanaHomePage (2006, April 10). Consortium Walks out of Water meeting. Retrieved April 10, 2006 from: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=102436
Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.