Water privatization in Ghana


Water privatization in Ghana

Water privatization in Ghana has been discussed since the late 1990s as a reaction to poor service quality and low efficiency of the existing urban water utility Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation (GWSC), renamed Ghana Water Company Ltd. (GWCL) in 1999. The World Bank supported the process of private sector participation in the urban water sector from the beginning.

Originally a 10-year lease contract was envisaged . In 2000, a lease contract between GWCL and the US company Azurix failed due to accusations of corruption and public opposition which led to the formation of the Coalition against Water Privatization. [cite journal
last = Rahaman;
first = Abu Shiraz
authorlink =
coauthors = Everett, Jeff; Neu, Dean
title = Accounting and the move to privatize water services in Africa
journal = Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 20, Number 5, 2007 , pp. 637-670(34)
volume = 20
issue = 5
pages = 637-670
publisher = Emerald Group Publishing Limited
location =
date = 2007
url =
doi = 10.1108/09513570710778992
issn =
isbn =
id =
accessdate =
, p. 648-651
]

In 2004, the World Bank's Board approved a credit of US$103 million for the Urban Water Project, which was later turned into a grant. The Nordic Development Fund contributes another US$5 million, while the Government of Ghana provides the remaining US$12 million of the US$120 million project. [cite web
last = World Bank
first =
authorlink = World_Bank
coauthors =
title = Ghana: World Bank Turns US$103 Million Ghana Urban Water Credit To Grant
work =
publisher =
date =
url = http://go.worldbank.org/ZATGPT5LF1
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-03-28
]

The main objectives of the program, which will end in 2010, are to

* significantly increase access to water supply systems in the urban areas of Ghana with an emphasis on improving the service for the urban poor; and
* restoring the long-term financial stability, viability, and sustainability of the GWCL.

It provides technical assistance and training. Moreover, it supports private sector participation. [cite web
last = World Bank
first =
authorlink = World_Bank
coauthors =
title = Urban Water Project
work =
publisher =
date =
url = http://web.worldbank.org/external/projects/main?Projectid=P056256&Type=Overview&theSitePK=40941&pagePK=64283627&menuPK=64282134&piPK=64290415
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-03-28
]

Since October 2006 the private operator Aqua Vitens Rand Ltd. (AVRL), a joint venture of the public Dutch company Vitens Rand water services BV and Aqua Vitra Ltd., supports GWCL under a five-year management contract to improve its performance and rehabilitate and extend the infrastructure.Citation
first =
last = Water-Aid Ghana
author-link =
first2 =
last2 =
author2-link =
editor-last =
editor-first =
editor2-last =
editor2-first =
contribution =
contribution-url =
title = Assessment of national sanitation policies: Ghana case. Final report.
year = 2005
pages =
place = Accra
publisher =
url = http://wedc.lboro.ac.uk/projects/proj_contents0/WEJEH%20-%20Sanitation%20Policy/www/outputs/Ghana%20Sanitation%20Policy%20Assessment%20Report.pdf
doi =
id =
format = PDF
accessdate = 2008-03-26
, p. 19]

The main objectives of the management contract are:
* Extending reliable water supply especially to low-income areas
* Making potable water affordable for low-income consumers
* Increasing cost recovery
* Ensuring investments based on low-cost and concession financing
* Supporting further involvement of the private sector
* Reducing non-revenue water
* Increasing water treatment

In March 2008, severe water shortages in Accra were reported, leading the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing to review whether AVRL is working in compliance with the management contract. However, he explained that the reason for the shortages were unforeseen power outages at two water treatment plants in Weija and Kpong. According to the minister, the overall situation will improve notably by the end of 2008 due to several new boreholes and a more stable power supply. [Citation
last = Benson
first = Ivy
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title = Government maintains Aqua Vitens deal…to manage water supply in the country
newspaper = The Ghanaian Chronicle
pages =
year = 2008
date = 2008-03-12
accessdate = 2008-03-27
url = http://db.ghanaian-chronicle.com/thestory.asp?id=5993
.
]

In March 2008 the National Coalition Against Privatisation of Water (NCAP) called for the abrogation of the management contract for alleged "lack of performance", especially related to the “Service Standard” in Schedule 4 of the contract. [ Schedule 4 states that within six (6) months from the Commencement Date, the Operator “produce and maintain water quality,pressure and flow rates at all (i) discharge points from treatment plants for Treated Water ("Headworks") and (ii) throughout the distribution networks that meet or exceed all relevant standards determined by the Ghana Standards Board and/or the Consumer Charter requirements, and the Drinking Water Safety Plan. In other words AVRL must ensure that water supply levels to all the urban delivery points covered by the contract. further more, according to the contract (Clause 9.2) GWCL is entitled to commence termination processes in any situation where(a) the Operator fails to perform any of its obligations under this Management Contract in amaterial respect and such failure continues for thirty (30) days after written notice from theGrantor to the Operator requesting that such failure be cured ; or(b) the Operator fails to provide the Services to Service Standards causing directly a widespreaddanger to the health of the public in the Service Area and such failure continues after writtennotice from the Grantor to the Operator requesting that such failure be cured.] The Minister responded by pointing to an upcoming mid-term review.

See also

Water supply and sanitation in Ghana

References


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