Some residents in Accra have complained about their inability to have access to the water ever since the government announced the free utility package for consumers.
Residents who dwell in areas such as Bubuashie, Adentan, Kuntunse and some parts of Amasaman and some far-flung areas in Accra have expressed their dissatisfaction with the situation.
Although they are not being billed for their use of water from the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) since the directive took effect, they said their pipes had constantly not been flowing with water and this was having an adverse effect on them and their businesses.
Owing to the challenge they face, many are left with no other option than to find other sources of water for their day-to-day activities.
Low water flow
A laundry operator at Bubuashie, Mrs Selina Lomotey, said due to the nature of her work, she had been forced to contract a water delivery service to supply her with water every day.
“The longest time that water flows in our pipes is just about 30 minutes. It flows for only a short time and goes off for days, sometimes weeks. The situation wasn’t like this until the free water intervention was initiated,” she said.
A public washroom operator who gave his name as Mr Asiamah also said the directive had done him more harm than good.
He stated that before the intervention by the government, he paid GH¢100 every month for water, but now he had to spend GH¢20 each day to be supplied with water.
“We have done everything possible to get the GWCL to resolve our challenge but to no avail. On days that I don’t get water, it means the facility has to be closed down. I am hoping that the government will look into this issue and resolve it before matters gets out of hand,” he said.
A resident of Kuntunse, Ms Agnes Twum, also lamented that pipes in her area had not been flowing since August last year.
She said the community only enjoyed the government freebie for only three months and had had to find water on their own since then.
“Due to the difficulty we face, we are forced to limit our consumption of water. For instance, I buy bags of sachet water and use them for cooking and washing utensils. There are days that I even use sachet water to take my bath,” she said.
The Head of Public Relations and Communication at the GWCL, Mr Stanley Martey, explained that the situation was due to the misuse of water by some residents and that had affected pressure in the pipelines.
Consequently, he said it had become difficult for people living far away from source to get regular flow of water.
He added that with the reintroduction of the free water directive by the government, a cut-off point for consumers had been introduced to enable individuals to use water wisely.
If that happens, he said, pressure in the pipelines would be reduced and people living far from source would have regular flow of water.
“This is better because with the first intervention there was no cut-off point and as such some residents misused water, which affected pressure in pipelines to the extent that people living further away from the source couldn’t get regular flow and we had to do a lot of things to build up pressure,” he said.
He added: “I believe that with the cut-off point in place, this time residents will try to fall within the range where they are to enjoy free water and that will help to reduce the pressure in the lines and more people will have access to water.”
In April last year, the government announced a plan to absorb electricity and water tariffs to make up for lost income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its attendant lockdown and restrictions rules.
However, following an easing of restrictions in the country and with the free utility package reaching its time limit on December 31, 2020, the government has decided to renew the package only for lifeline customers.