The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) says it has increased revenue collection from GH¢ 55 million to GH¢ 63 million from February to May this year, due to prudent management practices and the introduction of an electronic payment system.
Dr Clifford A. Braimah, the Managing Director (MD) of the GWCL, made the disclosure when he hosted a delegation from the GUMA Valley Water Company of Sierra Leone in Accra.+He said the increment was recorded following the introduction of multiple payment channels for bills, engagement of banks and third-party vendors to collect water bills, while GWCL’s customers were allowed to pay their bills through their mobile money wallets.
‘‘We’re taking advantage of the management tools we have put in place although management tools do not perform magic on their own but they have to be utilised, and so the several payment points are aiding the payment of bills,’’ Dr Braimah stated.
The GUMA Water Company’s delegation is in Ghana to study the governance structure of the GWCL, share knowledge and skills, which is intended to improve water distribution to about 1.5 million residents in the capital of Sierra Leone and peri-urban areas.
The Managing Director of the GWCL, touching on the impact of the ban on small-scale mining, said the turbidity level of the raw water used for production had improved tremendously and, thus, called for the sustenance of the measures to reduce the cost of treatment.
Dr Braimah said all the water treatment systems that were shut down due to the activities of small-scale mining had been opened for operation.
‘‘I was at Kyebi myself to see whether the turbidity levels were getting worse, but I can see that we have been able to maintain it and the load is not too much for treatment.
‘‘The Water Quality Chief Manager is here, and they are taking real-time data on the quality parametres, and we need to do more to sustain the gains and not to be consumed in our success,’’ Dr Braimah stated.
He urged Ghanaians to avoid encroachment around the Company’s dams since the practice posed a threat to the facility and called for collaborative efforts to safeguard the water bodies for both the present and future generations.
Commenting on irregular water supply in parts of the country, Mr Richard Appiah-Otoo, the Chief Manager for Technology and Innovation at the GWCL, said the Company had made USD$1.5 billion investment for expansion purposes over the past ten years that had increased water access to some peri-urban communities and new settlements.
‘‘We have expanded capacity to make sure that more people get water and we need additional two billion dollars to make sure everybody gets access to water’’ Mr Appiah-Otoo stated.
Mr Maada S. Kpenge, the Head of the Delegation and Deputy General Manager, Commercial and Projects, GUMA Valley Water Company, said the Company was supposed to supply potable water to about 1.5 million people in Free Town, the capital of Sierra Leone, and peri-urban communities.
However, it only covered about 37 per cent of the population with 22,000 customers compared to the GWCL’s 76 per cent coverage with over 300,000 clients, hence the need to learn from their Ghanaian counterparts to improve their distribution system.
“The one week the team had spent studying the GWCL’s structure, we had learned a lot including; ways to improve the tariff structure, metering system, revenue collection and the general governance structure to enhance service delivery, ”Mr Kpenge observed.
Mr Kpenge said it would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the GWCL to strengthen cooperation as well as to improve knowledge and skills transfer between the two institutions.
Under the proposed MoU, the two companies would share lessons and good practices from experiences, as well as work towards attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Six, which aims at ensuring access to clean and safely-managed water for all by 2030.