The Conventions Peoples’ Party, CPP, has suggested to government to make immediate allocation of emergency funds to the Ghana Water Company Ltd, from the Consolidated Fund, to help arrest the fast deterioration in service delivery in the short-run.
The party also wants government to treat the water sector as one “in distress” and make plans to provide it with the needed funding, to enable it embark on an immediate repair and re- tooling programme.
The CPP in a release issued on Tuesday professing to offer solutions to the shortage of water and its associated problems in the country, noted: “Equipment and machinery of the Ghana Water Company Ltd need to be regularly maintained and replaced at appropriate times.”
Read the full statement below:
CPP OFFERS SOLUTIONS ON THE CURRENT WATER SHORTAGE PROBLEM
Water is our most precious resource and very vital to life. Apart from the use of water for drinking purposes, it has many other uses - for cleaning, cooking, growing our food, generating electricity, manufacturing and transporting people and goods.
There is abundant water flowing in our major rivers and we are also a coastal country and can harness sea water through de-salination. Many are therefore puzzled about the unfortunate situation where residents in the Accra and Takoradi Metropolis, in particular, are faced with a severe water shortage and rationing.
Reasons for the current water shortage include inefficient, ineffective inadequate and dilapidated infrastructure. A number of pumping machines and filters are said to have broken down while some pipelines laid to convey water to consumers have also become unusable. The problem has also been caused by the lack of attention to the water sector by successive Governments. Inadequate funding and ineffective and destructive practices employed by an imported foreign management company.
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) does not wish to point accusing fingers at any political party or person for what Ghanaians are going through now, since the Party’s raison d’etre, which is the resolution of the myriad of challenges facing the ordinary Ghanaian, dictates a forward-looking approach devoid of any recrimination and rancour.
However, for a more sustainable resolution of the current situation, it is only practical that we make the effort to understand how we come to be where we are today.
Since the overthrow of the CPP Government on February 24, 1966, very little attempt has been made by successive Governments to employ consciously drawn Development Plans to direct the forward-march of this country.
And, as it is well known and accepted in management circles, failure to plan is one of the surest ways to fail in one’s endeavour, be it at the personal, corporate or national level.
In the short post - independence lifespan of the CPP Government, (1957-1966), which was putsched with the disgraceful connivance of certain personalities and groupings in the country, Development Plans were drawn up and implemented carefully and consciously with the main aim of ensuring equitable distribution of economic and social development across the country.
Furthermore, all areas of the economy were adequately catered for; taking into account projected growth in various sectors of the economy, and this ensured that anticipated challenges and problems were catered for. The CPP Government also created confidence in the ability of the Ghanaian and, except in very rare cases, employed the talents of Ghanaians to manage the housing, water and electricity sectors, among others.
The current water situation, caused by ineffective, inefficient and antiquated infrastructure, is mainly the result of a failure to plan and to believe in the Ghanaian. There has also arisen erroneous thinking that “only the Whiteman can save Ghana” and this writes a sad testimonial of contemporary Ghana.
The situation is a repeat of a similar crisis a few years ago. At the time, there was a lot of debate about the best way to resolve the challenge which was put down to non-performing management. A number of suggestions were made that it was possible to find good managers in Ghana who, given the right environment, could excel.
The arguments of the time favoured the institution of an effective local management team but these fell on deaf ears. The Government of the day believed that only outsiders (The Whiteman) could save the country from its water problems. Thus, a foreign company, AVRL, was imported into the country to manage the water resources of Ghana with the result that, after many years at the helm of affairs in the water sector, the country is much worse off now than before the foreigners were invited to Ghana and given free reign over our water resources. AVRL, are believed to have reduced the sector to its current low point.
The country has gotten to the point where the well-being of its citizens should direct major governmental policies and the CPP, as the Vanguard of the People, would like to see that the ordinary Ghanaian is truly catered for and happy. The Party thus offers some suggestions to help forestall any likely reoccurrence of the current hardship that the residents of the Accra, the Takoradi Metropolis and elsewhere are facing.
SUGGESTIONS FOR CURING OUR WATER PROBLEMS
In order to ensure regular flow of water for consumption and other uses as soon as possible it is imperative that the infrastructure of the sector is revamped and should involve some short term and long term measures:
The Government should treat the sector as one “in distress” and make an immediate allocation of emergency funds to Ghana Water Company Ltd, from the Consolidated Fund, to help arrest the fast deterioration in service delivery in the short-run.
Government must make plans to provide it with some allocation from outside the national budget, that is, from the Consolidated Fund, to enable it embark on an immediate repair and re- tooling programme Equipment and machinery of the Ghana Water Company Ltd needs to be regularly maintained and replaced at appropriate times. This will require a conscious budgeting process under which regular reviews are undertaken to ensure convergence between what is and what should be.
Because of the magnitude of the funds which may be required for a satisfactory resolution of the challenge, the management of Ghana Water Company Ltd must provide a priority programme against this allocation of the funds together with a comprehensive future plan and maintenance programme so that proper budgetary allocation may be made to the Company in the national budget.
Proper management of the financial resources of Ghana Water Company Ltd, must be ensured for the medium to longer term, and should include a system that ensures that, at least, ninety per cent (90%) of the Company’s revenues are collected on time, as against the current belief that only about thirty per cent (30%) of the Company’s revenues hit its bank accounts on time.
Ghanaians are capable of creating such a system which would track the location and collection of the revenues due to the Ghana Water Company Ltd.
Strict disciplinary measures should be put in place so that any worker of the Company who compromises the system, which is aimed at putting the Company in funds, is seriously dealt with by the management of the Company who should be made to account for its efficient financial management of the Company.
Rural areas also need attention and the sinking of boreholes in rural areas should be sped up, as well as some outlining sections in urban areas in the country.
The commissioning and use of desalination plants should be considered as part of the longer term plans.
There would be a need for the political leadership to get out of their offices and into the field, in order to learn and be on top of issues confronting this and other ministries.
The CPP believes that the political leadership of the day is responsible for the outcomes of the work of all MDAs. Merely accusing technocrats for non-performance should be a thing of the past. Ghana has had enough of “armchair political leaders” and Ghanaians would like to see their political leaders get out into the field and direct the execution of policies aimed at making life acceptable and comfortable for them.
It is without doubt that where a Minister is regularly in the field, a situation, as we have it now with water, could be resolved before it got out of hand. In that respect, the call of President Mahama to his new Ministers to go to their ministries and do things differently, “thinking outside the box”, is laudable and must now be tested.
The CPP and Ghanaians expect the political leadership of this country to adopt a new approach to managing the country; an approach which compels the leadership to treat their ministries as if they were their personal corporate entities which should be ran efficiently and “profitably”.
The political leadership should be made to link their progress with the efficient and “profitable” management of their ministries so that the prevailing practice of “containment” in the ministries is curtailed. This would ensure that only efficient technocrats are employed to support the political leadership of the country for the good of Ghana.
The CPP will advise that the ministry responsible for water resources should look beyond the current challenge in planning for a sustainable solution.
The political leadership of the country should take ownership of the outcomes of the work of their ministries and ensure that Ghanaians benefit from their good leadership in consonance with The CPP’s belief that it is only by taking care of the needs of the ordinary Ghanaian that a Government can claim to have worked for the citizenry.
Long live The CPP!! Long live Ghana!!!
J.T. ABEBRESE CPP Spokesperson on Works, Housing and Water Resources.