GWCL renegotiates with operators of desalination plant to minimise production cost

BY: Chris Nunoo
The Sea Water Desalination Plant at Teshie
The Sea Water Desalination Plant at Teshie

The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), in collaboration with the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC), has begun a renegotiation process with operators of the desalination plant at Nungua in the Greater Accra Region to minimise the cost of production at the plant.

According to the Head of Public Relations at the GWCL, Mr Stanley Martey, the company was incurring losses in the maintenance of the plant, for which reason it needed to dialogue with major stakeholders to come up with a workable solution that could help reduce the operational cost of the plant.

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“We have 89 systems and close to about 15 per cent of our revenue goes into the desalination alone and so we need some flexibility to enable us to fulfil our obligation of uninterrupted supply of water to the people,” he added.

On the purity of water from the desalination plant, Mr Martey, who was speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra last Tuesday, debunked the notion that water from the plant was salty and, therefore, unwholesome for consumption.

“Treated water from the desalination plant meets the standards of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA),” he said.


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Background

The plant, which supplied about 13 million gallons of water a day to residents of Teshie, Nungua and adjoining communities, has not been in operation since January this year due to the high operational cost incurred by the GWCL.

The company now relies on the Kpong and the Weija Headworks to supply close to 92 million gallons a day to residents of Teshie and Nungua.

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Concerns

A group of residents of those areas are, however, yet to be convinced to drink water from the desalination plant.

The group, which described itself as the Teshie Concerned Citizens Association, led by one Mr Seth Tagoe, said any form of inducement to compel them to drink water from the plant would be an affront to their rights, claiming that doing so also contravened the tenets of the Constitution.

It described the plant as uneconomical to the people and the country at large, saying: “The people of Teshie and Nungua spend too much money in refixing our systems at home damaged by the salty nature of the water.

“We also spend a lot of money in buying sachet water for drinking because we cannot drink the desalinated water. The water makes our bodies itch and we are unable to use it for any meaningful domestic purposes as well,” the group complained.