The Water Sector in Ghana is dominated by these three institutions, who have been partnered by CHF in the implementation of two of its Programs - SCALE-UP and WASH-UP to improve access to water and sanitation for the urban poor especially.
Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL)
The first public water supply system in Ghana, then Gold Coast, was established in Accra just before World War I. Extensions were made exclusively to other urban areas among them the colonial capital of Cape Coast, Winneba and Kumasi in the1920s.During this period, the water supply systems were managed by the Hydraulic Division of Public Works Department. With time the responsibilities of the Hydraulic Division were widened to include the planning and development of water supply systems in other parts of the country.
In 1948, the Department of Rural Water Development was established to engage in the development and management of rural water supply through the drilling of bore holes and construction of wells for rural communities.
After Ghana’s independence in 1957, a Water Supply Division, with headquarters in Kumasi, was set up under the Ministry of Works and Housing with responsibilities for both urban and rural water supplies.
During the dry season of 1959, there was severe water shortage in the country. Following this crisis, an agreement was signed between the Government of Ghana and the World Health Organization (WHO) for a study to be conducted into the water sector development of the country.
The study focused not only on technical engineering but also on the organization of a national water and sewerage authority and methods of financing. Furthermore the study recommended the preparation of a Master Plan for water supply and sewerage services in Accra-Tema covering the twenty-year period 1960 to 1980.
In line with the recommendations of the WHO, the Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation (GWSC), was established in 1965 under an Act of Parliament (Act 310) as a legal public utility entity. GWSC was to be responsible for:
- water supply and sanitation in rural as well as urban areas.
- the conduct of research on water and sewerage as well as the making of engineering surveys and plans.
- the construction and operation of water and sewerage works,
- the setting of standards and prices and collection of revenues.
Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL)
Known as the operator, AVRL is a joint Dutch-South African Company that has been contracted by GWCL to operate and manage the urban water system in Ghana. The contract took effect from November 2005 and is valid until November 2010.
Principal Obligations and Responsibilities of the Operator
The Operator has exclusive right and obligation to provide the services in the Service Area on an exclusive basis during the Management Contract period.
The Operator is entitled to:
- ·conclude contracts with customers for the supply of potable water in the name and on behalf of the Grantor,
- ·issue bills on delivery of potable water,
- ·receive payments from customers
- ·disconnect customers for non-payment and/or for other grounds in accordance with applicable law.
The Operator’s responsibility covers the following:
- ·abstraction, receipt, transfer and collection of raw water
- ·production, transportation, treatment and delivery of piped potable water.
- ·procurement and supply of energy,
- ·definition of technical procedures, meters specifications and locations, attainment of service standards,
- ·repair, replacement and rehabilitation of facilities for producing water.
- ·management of applications for new service connections, new subscriptions, customers’ files, customers’ disconnections,
- ·identification and removal or regularization of illegal connections
- ·definition and establishment of commercial procedures.
Administrative and Financial Services.
- ·preparation and presentation of suggested capital investment report,
- ·definition and establishment of accounting procedures
- ·preparation of report, records and accounts.
Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA)
The CWSA started as the community water and sanitation division (CWSD), a semi autonomous Unit of the then Ghana water and Sewerage Corporation (GWSC) charged with the management of rural water and sanitation delivery. After four years of existence, it was deemed necessary to grant complete autonomy to the Division to give greater impetus to its work.
Subsequently, the Division was transformed into theCommunity Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA)by anAct of Parliament, Act 564 in December 1998, with the mandate to facilitate the provision of safe drinking water and related sanitation services to Rural Communities and Small Towns in Ghana.
The CWSA has since been facilitating the implementation the National Community and sanitation program (NCWSP) using the decentralized structures at the district and community levels as prescribed in the Act.