The Pantang Area Water and Sanitation Development Team (PAWSDT), managers of the Pantang Area Water and Sanitation Scheme (PAWSS) has rendered account of its stewardship for the 2015 at a forum at Abokobi.
Established under the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) rural water programme in 2004 in the Ga East Municipality, the Pantang Area Water and Sanitation Scheme operates on two mechanized boreholes and produces averagely about 900 cubic metres (m3) per day or 200,000 gallons of water per day.
The scheme currently supplies water and sanitation services to 12 communities, from the previous 9, namely; Pantang, Ashongman, Ablorh Adjei, Akporman, Boi, Parakou, Adjako, Dravaga, Nyamekrom, Parakou, Sempene and Zion City
1468 houses, as at the end of the last quarter of 2015, had been connected to the system with 2015 alone, recording 202 house connections.
To ensure accountability, transparency and participation in the operation of the scheme, a forum was held to render account and discuss, with stakeholders, ways to enhance the scheme.
Stakeholders including traditional leaders, Assembly Members, Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) committees and officials from the Ga East Municipal Assembly attended the forum.
Addressing the forum, the Chairman of the Pantang Area Water and Sanitation Development Team (PAWSDT), Mr. Ben Banitsi, said the scheme was not only about water but sanitation as well, stressing that “it is important for all stakeholders to realize this and work together with the team to deliver quality water and promote good sanitation practices in the communities”.
He added that “when people see that water has come to a particular area they all move to that area but they don’t think of the technical aspect of it and the things to make it clean and safe for use”.
He advised the people to make it a habit to harvest rain water and not depend on pipe-borne water always.
Mr. Alex Amoah, Acting Municipal Planning Officer of the Ga East Municipal Assembly and member of the Municipal Water and Sanitation Management Team (MWST), who spoke on behalf of the Municipal Chief Executive, expressed delight for the organization and rationale for the forum.
He said the meeting was organized to enable the community members, who he described as “owners” of the water scheme, to enquire about the running of their property.
“The water belongs to the community. The community as a whole cannot go and see to the day-to-day activities to make the water clean and safe for use so we employ certain group of people to see to it that there is proper maintenance of the water in communities”.
In an annual technical and financial report presented by the System Manager, Mr. Jerry Ayimah, the scheme generated a total revenue of GH¢858,482.21, making a profit of GH¢61,316.52.
According to the report, water bills from direct water supply to houses within the nine beneficiary communities accounted for the highest source of revenue generated with an amounted of GH¢644,473.62 with the rest mobilized through new connections of an amount of GH¢126,068.80, Stand-pipes water supply services within the communities, GH¢73,676.80, and reconnections/penalties 5,790.00, among other sources.
Within the period under review, the Scheme made remarkable achievements including a pilot project of an installation of a Rambo-1000 polytank, free distribution of waste bins, expansion of the office block and furnishing, and delivering on their social responsibilities to public schools with free water supply.
Another important feat chalked was that there was no reported case of water-related health problems from consumers from the water supplied by the scheme.
These achievements, nonetheless, the scheme was hard hit by the recent power outages in the country.
The report indicated that the erratic power supply from the national grid led to an increased cost of purchase of diesel to power the system and also resulted in the damage of its pumps and control panel.
Again, water losses due to burst pipes through the activities of some individuals, developers and government contractors, high electricity bills, and illegal connections contributed to the losses in the operation of the scheme.
There was an open forum session after the presentation of the report which saw participants ask diverse questions and make various comments and suggestions to help make the scheme function better.
The forum was chaired by S.W.O Joseph Narku Nortey, a Technical Advisor to the Ghana Armed Forces.
He thanked the participants and urged all the stakeholders to “put our minds together, make one decision and work things out to improve the operations of the scheme”.
By: Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman