GWCL pumps 48m into desalination water project; gets 5m in return- Union angry

The Public Utility Workers Union is criticizing the Ghana Water Company Limited’s involvement in the Teshie-Nungua Desalination Water Project.

The Union said the project is not profitable and demanded its review.

The Union is claiming that the utility company loses 1.4 million cedis a month in electricity bills under the agreement.

The water company entered into an agreement with BEFESA Desalination Development Ghana to help transform seawater into potable water for Teshie and its environs.

But, Deputy General Secretary of Public Utility Workers Union, Michael Nyantakyi told Joy News the review of the agreement is necessary because the GWCL is “losing a lot”.

He said between February and August this year, the company invested 48 million cedis into the project but could only realise an income of 5.72 million cedis.

He insisted the project does not make “any economic sense”, and has rather become a drain on the company’s “hard earned money” from other operations.

Whilst agreeing in part with the concerns of the union, the Communications Manager of GWCL, Stanley Martey with the exception of the Kpong treatment plant, almost all the company’s treatment plants are selling at a loss,

The company he said produces at the cost of 8 cedis, but are forced by the regulator, Public Utility Regulatory Commission, to sell at one cedi 78 pesewas.

He told Joy News the company therefore expects some sort of “equilibrium” hence the request for a tariff adjustment, which has largely been rejected by consumers.

Meanwhile, residents at Nungua and its environs have been complaining they cannot drink the treated water from the Desalination Water Project. This is because it still contains traces of salt.

Acknowledging that there is an acceptable level of salt content in the water, Mantey insisted the water is “potable and consumable”; infact it has been his source of drinking water as a resident of Teshie, he claimed.

When it comes to wholesome water the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has a standards higher than the WHO. GWCL ensures that all treated water meet the acceptable parameters set by the GSA, Mr. Mantey said.

The acceptable Chloride level of treated water is 250mg per cubic meter, and GWCL is doing averagely 130mg, which appears recommendable.

“The GWCL has been pumping good quality water to the people of Ghana,” he assured, stressing that the company’s water quality assurance department on daily basis check on the parameters and quality of the drinking water before it is pumped into the system.

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