There is corruption in Ghana’s water delivery system – Study

A study conducted on Ghana’s water delivery system has unearthed various forms of corruption that hamper effective service delivery.

Conducted by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), local chapter of Transparency International, the 88-page report, titled “Ghana’s National Water Supply Integrity Study” with subheading; “Mapping Transparency, Accountability and Participation in Service Delivery: An analysis of the Water Supply Sector in Ghana”, categorises the forms of bribery and corruption prevailing in the water sector as grand, petty and user perceptions.

Presenting some of the findings of the Transparency and Integrity in Service Delivery in Africa (TISDA) report at a media sensitisation workshop in Accra Friday, October 21, 2011, Vitus A. Azeem, Executive Director, GII, mentioned the major forms of grand corruption that are rife in Ghana’s water service delivery as single contractors buying and pricing all bidding documents and awarding of different contracts to the same contractor under different names.

He listed others as procuring entities making payments before dates and advancing funds for mobilisation beyond the allowable limits, over-invoicing, poor contract management, poor training and working conditions of construction workers, as well as shoddy work through the use of poor quality materials.

Regarding petty corruption, GII’s Executive Director catalogued illegal connections and illegal fees for connecting, meter tampering, direct payment to meter readers and under reporting of daily sales by vendors.

User perceptions encapsulating the fears of the final consumer were given as interference from politicians and traditional leaders in decision making in Water and Sanitation committees and Water and Sanitation Development Boards as well as the fear of revenue collectors not depositing all the money they receive.

“Powerful board members can illegally borrow money from the account and even forget to pay, vendors at stand posts without meters can under report sales, remote communities are susceptible to be cheated under the pretence that a spare part could not be procured from a regional distributor but only the zonal centre, which involves significant transport cost,” a brief on the report elucidated further.

To counter all that, GII recommends the strengthening of anti-corruption tools and the capacity of sector agencies to implement such tools as well as the introduction of anti-corruption clauses by donors in all cooperative agreements and also training of all staff to put policies into practice.

GII further proffers the creation of anti-corruption awareness and systems within public organisations, so they can cooperate with civil society effectively, to ensure corruption is prevented from occurring.

“There is also the need to institutionalise the involvement of a representative of civil society at each of the levels of public procurement,” the report advises.

Increasing of access to information to the public on operations of utility providers through publications of utility accounts, audit information, budgets and the like, involving users in decision making such as tariff setting, whistle blowing protection and strengthening of monitoring and oversight mechanisms such as ombudsman and complaint offices, are also listed as strong recommendations to deal with corruption in Ghana’s water services delivery.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

  1. GH says

    They stupid anyways and these people need to learn a hard lesson of crime punishment. Is in all sectors of Ghana and Some African countries. That is why Ghana for that matter Africa still look like village with poor roads, rail, sanitation, poverty with all these resources yet leaves with handouts from developed world.

  2. Kwame says

    Investigation of corruption in Africa always leads to the top, that’s why nothing ever changes no matter how strong the evidence is. Only the poor suffer and who cares in Africa for the poor !

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