The expanded Jambusi water treatment plant located in Wa West District of the Upper West Region with a production capacity of 15,000 cubic metres (3.3 million gallons) daily is producing only 4,000 (896,000 gallons) a day.
The figure, which constitutes a production rate of 27 per cent, has been attributed to a limited distribution network system to deliver the potable water from the main transmission lines to the end user.
This came to light during a visit by the Executive Secretary of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Dr Ismail Ackah, and some officials to the plant last Tuesday.
The visit was part of his two-day familiarisation tour of the region to acquaint himself with challenges facing stakeholders in the utility sector.
Network not complete
The water intake facility at the Jambusi water treatment plant
Briefing the PURC entourage, the Regional Chief Manager of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Serena Kwakye-Mintah, said that up to now, only 238 kilometres of the distribution network had been completed.
Mrs Kwakye-Mintah said the company had obtained some materials to expand the distribution network in the Wa municipality and its environs by about 70 kilometres, so that the water gets closer to more communities.
“We have a network of 238 kilometres to cover, which has been completed and we intend to add on 70 kilometres in order to reach out to more communities for them to get access to potable water. Currently, our customer base stands at 8, 015,” she said. The expansion work, she said, would begin in April, this year.
The Regional Chief Manager stated that individuals who wanted to access their services for consumption were complaining of the high cost of extension since the transmission lines were far away from them. Meanwhile, she said the water company’s last major distribution network was executed in 2019.
Mrs Kwakye-Mintah mentioned their major challenges as the non-payment of bills and vandalisation of their transmission lines through bushfires during the dry season.
When the PURC team got to the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), the Area Manager of NEDCo, Edmund Gbemu, said the major complaints from their clients were the high cost involved in the processes of acquiring metres and unannounced power outages.
To solve the challenge, Mr Gbemu said that they were in the process of creating a WhatsApp platform with the various assembly members to inform them of any due power outages for onward information to their people.
“The WhatsApp platform will also serve as a means to receive feedback from their clients to know their complaints,” he stated.
In a brief remark after the tour, Dr Ackah said they would organise training programmes for the utility providers to build their capacities to enhance the discharge of their duties. This was to ensure that their customers obtained the best quality of services from them to ensure their willingness to settle their bills.
The Jambusi water treatment plant was inaugurated by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in 2017.
It processes water from the Black Volta to solve the perennial water challenges facing Wa township and its environs.
Located about 35 kilometres away from Wa, the project was executed by the Kolon-Pyunghwa Consortium of South Korea, jointly funded by the government and South Korea Exim Bank at the cost of $51.59 million.