Automated water station inaugurated at Vakpo

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BY: Kofi Atsivor
The safe water station. INSET:  The water 'ATM' standpipe which is operated with smart cards
The safe water station. INSET: The water 'ATM' standpipe which is operated with smart cards

An automated small town safe water station has been inaugurated at Vakpo in the North Dayi District in the Volta Region.

The facility, provided by a non-governmental organisation, Safe Water Network (SWN), and its partners, including World Vision Ghana, comprises an innovative water dispensing technology dubbed: 'Any time water machine' (ATM).

The solar-powered ATM, fitted to standpipes in the community, will serve about 4,000 residents of the town through the use of electronic cards preloaded with customers’ usage requirements.

ATM system

The Country Director of SWN, Mr Charles Nimako, explained that the water ATM system, the first of its kind in the country, functioned just like the electricity prepayment system, with customers being able to load the cash equivalent of the amount of water they required.


He said the system was programmed for every 20 litres of water, for which it charged 10Gp.

It also afforded consumers 24-hour access to the system, he said.

According to Mr Nimako, the introduction of the water ATM would lead to the judicious use of treated water, ensure transparency in revenue collection and accountability.

On the management of the facility, he said the system would be run based on the organisation’s approved business module, for which the SWN would provide technical expertise, tools and support to ensure the sustainability of the scheme.

He added that his outfit had so far provided the safe water system for over 120 communities.

Commendation

The outgoing Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, who inaugurated the water station, said the provision of water, sanitation and health (WASH) facilities remained a top priority of the government and commended the SWN and its partners for their intervention.

He expresed the hope that the introduction of the water ATMs would drive efficiency in water distribution and management and urged other water service providers to adopt the technology to enhance service delivery to consumers.

Mr Adda added as part of the government’s ‘Water for All’ agenda, an 11 million Euro contract had been awarded for the extension of potable water to selected districts in the Volta Region, including Adaklu, Ho West and Agotime-Ziope.

Challenge

The North Dayi District Chief Executive, Mr Edmund Attah Kudjoe, said access to potable water remained a challenge in some communities in the district, for which reason the assembly and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) were collaborating.

He called for periodic maintenance of the new facility and entreated the beneficiaries to ensure proper sanitation practices to safeguard the quality of underground water sources.