Former Minister for Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor has described as a missed target, plans by the government to absorb the three-month water bills of all Ghanaians due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to him, governments over the years are fond of making promises but struggle to implement those ideas by providing the absorbed revenue to the relevant institution, in this instance, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).
Speaking on Accra-based Starr News, Dr. Donkor argued that the GWCL ordinarily struggles with their revenue flow and any attempt to put an extra burden on production without the necessary revenue cushion will result in the Company increasing water tariffs for consumers after the three months.
“Ghana Water Company itself has bad books, all our utilities have very poor books and if the track record of governments in Ghana is anything to go by, they absorb or subsidize by the mouth, they don’t put monies back in.”
“What is the monthly revenue of Ghana Water? That is what we should know so if Ghana Water Company is going to forgo three months of that revenue, assuming it’s even 20million cedis a month, Ghana Water is struggling even with that revenue flow so without that revenue flow, it’s going to be worse and therefore after the three months, the next PURC approval cycle will come, they will present a worse balance sheet to PURC and ask PURC for an increase to mitigate their poor state, you and I will have to pay and that is my worry.”
“The intention is good but we don’t think through and because we don’t think through, we don’t work through and so we miss-targets,” he stated.
Also, the former Minister raised red flags on the people who will benefit from the free-water package.
According to him, only persons in urban communities are connected to the GWCL grid and therefore the vulnerable who may need the intervention will not get the benefit from the intervention.
“The peri-urban and smaller communities hardly benefit from Ghana Water and if you take the urban communities, a number of people are buying from tankers, from boreholes, etc and so which are the areas where water runs regularly? This tends to be the posh areas of Accra, Kumasi, are they the most vulnerable? he added.