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Ghana can attain MDG on supply of water – Study

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A study on Ghana Water Supply has revealed that the nation can achieve the Millennium Development Goal Seven on halving by 2015, the proportion of persons without sustainable access to safe drinking water.

The target would be achieved if major challenges in the sector are addressed adequately, says the Ghana’s National Water Supply Integrity Study, conducted by Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), an anti-corruption NGO.

However, it also says, Ghana would need $1.49 billion to expand water supply facilities to meet demand in 2020.

The study also revealed that challenges, which include inefficiencies often promoted by lack of transparency in water production, purification and distribution processes, impacts negatively on access to quality water and sanitation services by ordinary citizens thereby making water unaffordable and inaccessible.

Mr Vitus Azeem, Executive Secretary, Ghana Integrity Initiative, discussed the findings of the study and water delivery-related corruption at a workshop at Tamale. It workshop sought public support and solutions to address the many challenges.

He explained that the assessment was part of a programme to promote Transparency and Integrity in Service Delivery in Africa (TISDA). It is being implemented by Transparency International in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana.

Mr Azeem, said the aim was to contribute to greater integrity, transparency and accountability in key social service sectors leading to better access to basic services.

Mr Azeem said the study revealed some reported corrupt practices in the water service delivery.

“There were instances of: a single contractor buying and pricing all bidding documents; award of a number of contracts to the same contractor under different names; procuring entities making payment before due dates and advancing funds for mobilisation beyond the 15 per cent allowable limit; over-invoicing; poor contract management; and poor work through the use of poor quality materials,” he said.

Mr Azeem said there were also reported corrupt practices at the community level such as illegal connections, meter tampering and direct payment to meter readers and under reporting of daily sales by vendors.

Participants at the workshop expressed regret that the existing legislation, regulations and provisions to ensure transparency, integrity and accountability in the sector lacked compliance and enforcement.

A participant, Mr Suleiman Adamu, 46, complained about outrageous charges and inefficient service delivery by utility service providers, which he said, was a major threat to the survival of small and medium enterprises in the Tamale Metropolis.

“There is constant power fluctuation and shortage of water yet we are asked to pay huge bills, which when one is not able to pay becomes a problem with subsequent disconnection,” he said.

Mr Adamu stressed the need to strengthen anti-corruption tools as well as the building of the capacity of all stakeholders to implement these tools to promote transparency and integrity in the sector.

Source: GNA

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