WaterAid Ghana, the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) and the Ghana Water and Sanitation Journalists Network (GWJN) have jointly called on Government to consider a reduction in water tariffs to avoid the undesirable implications on health.
WaterAid Ghana and its allies said the increases in tariffs were likely to have negative implications, including discouraging practices of good hygiene such as hand washing at critical times, if people could not afford to buy water.
A statement signed by Kafui Nyaku, Communication and Campaign Officer of WaterAid Ghana, said the increase in tariffs would also negatively affect the health care system as many facilities would not have adequate access to water.
This, it said, would compel people to compromise their health by resorting to the use of unsafe water.
“It will also enable water vendors such as tanker services to exploit the situation to the disadvantage of low income individuals and communities,” the statement said.
The statement noted that especially in the context of other tariff increases on electricity and fuel, WaterAid Ghana, CONIWAS and GWJN, considered the intended increases in water tariffs as inimical to the Government of Ghana’s own stated objectives.
“An increase in electricity tariff will also increase the operation cost of small-town water systems in many rural and small towns, where poor and marginalized people find it difficult to buy water,” the statement added.
WaterAid and its partners have urged Ghana Water Company (GWCL) to pay more attention to addressing the challenges that diminish its revenue such as broken /leaking pipe lines and water theft which costs the GWCL about 1GHȼ2 million monthly.
“We appreciate the need to raise more revenue to support and sustain the provision of water. However, we are of the view that a more efficient GWCL can support government’s goal of universal access by 2025 and ensure everyone has adequate water for their domestic and economic use,” the statement said.