Monday, July 25, 2011

What Kpong Water Works Says about Ghana's Public Service--it's a +1!

Two weekends ago, we spent the better part of the weekend trekking Accra far and wide to get sachet water to complement the water that we had(but had run out) due to water works on the Kpong Treatment Plant.

Now up until that time, I had not taken the issue of Kpong Treatment plant so seriously, but I guess when the crunch came, reality was very different.

In essence, transmission of water to the Eastern and Central part of the metropolis was cut, and parts of Accra that were affected included:

"Tema, Michel Camp, Kpong, Prampram, Tema Industrial Area, Ashaiman, Kpone, Adenta, Madina, La, Teshie, Lashibi, Spintex, Baatsonaa, Cantonements, Labone, Osu, Osu Kuku Hill, Nima, Maamobi, Pig Farm, Achimota and surrounding areas of Kpong itself."

Forget the fact that the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing Bagbin was said to be there exhorting workers to impress upon the workers to expedite the process. 

What I found interesting was the the process.

The week of 11 July, it was announced on the radio, followed by programmes on some radio stations, about the implications of water being shut off near the Kpong Treatment plant. round Wednesday/Thursday sure enough,  the water stopped flowing. Those of us with some "extra" water were able to use water for a day or two, but by Friday, most people were requesting water to be brought to their homes through water tankers.

Those of us with an aversion to such tankers off-late decided to opt for sachet water, which meant a day or two looking for water to BOTH drink and use domestically. By Saturday evening, the water had started flowing in the taps! Though it did take a few days or so for most parts of Accra that get water through taps to get it, my point is:  it was fixed ON TIME, albeit a day later than hoped.

Now two newspaper reports drew my attention to what has informed this post. The first was by Tuesday columnist in the Daily Graphic--Kofi Arkordor--who claimed the Kpong water problem was a reflection of how backwards the country had gone since independence in 1957. The second was a simple news report about how the works were monitored by the Ghana Water Company Limited(GWCL) and the regulator--the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission(PURC). You can read that here:

For me, this was the clincher:

"The director in charge of Water at the PURC, Nii Okae Kotei, said as regulator of the utility institutions, members of the commission decided to visit the treatment plant to have first hand information on the rehabilitation of the transmission line."

This is how it should be done: both the regulator (PURC) and our state provider GWCL working hand-in-hand. Given that the government effectively sacked the private sector management of Aqua Vitens Rand(Dutch/South African company) late June, this has been a vindication of public sector working when people are committed to the goals!

I would like to think that if Ghanaians continue to be as vociferous as they seem to be right now in this democratic dispensation,  we'd definitely have a Ghana that is less inefficient!;-)

What can I say, but "hooray!" to the public sector! Hooray to GWCL/PURC.
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