In a bid to solidify the partnership between Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) through the EU-Water Operators Partnership program, a six-man team from Guma on Monday 26th September 2022 started a week-long learning visit to Ghana Water Company Limited on improving access to water supply services to low-income communities.

At a welcoming ceremony held at the GWCL Headquarters in Accra, the Chief Manager, Low-Income Community Services Department (LICSD), Madam Faustina Boachie said that in July 2022, Ghana Water led by its Managing Director, Dr. Clifford Braimah visited Guma through the EU-WOP program and were exposed to the company’s experiences on Low-Income Communities (LICs) service delivery.

She explained that in April 2021, the EU-WOP program received 142 applications and after a two-stage selection process, the GWCL/Guma/VEI Water Operators Partnership was among the 22 projects selected.

According to Madam Boachie, the program is designed for the transfer of knowledge and skills between partners for Low-Income Communities (LICs) through cooperation and exchange visits for improved service delivery.

She highlighted Ghana Water’s commitments and efforts in fundraising for improving access to LICs and revenue collection with the aid of their Water User Associations. She stated the partnership has been able to deliver on the output, key deliverables, and baseline data, even before the end of the year 2022.

The Managing Director, Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Dr. Clifford Braimah welcomed the Guma delegation and emphasized the need for the partnership. He spoke on the evolution of the LICSD from being a single officer to a unit and now a department.

He said there is a real need to cater to Low-Income Communities, which is not only to improve access to the water supply but also to increase the number of paying customers for sustainable services.

Speaking at the event, the VEI Project Manager, Krijn Dressden stressed the need for continuous learning, research, and time value. He also mentioned a possible funding opportunity from WaterWorX, a partnership of public water operators to increase access to sustainable water services for 10 million people between 2017 to 2030.

In his statement, the Managing Director of Guma Valley Water Company, Maada S. Kpenge thanked the Management of Ghana Water for their warm welcome and pledged his organization’s continued support and commitment to the partnership.

He reminded all that Ghana Water and Guma Valley have been having learning exchanges since Guma’s 100 Days Transformation program in 2012, to the Twinning Partnership in December 2018, and now, the EU-WOP program.

Ing. Kpenge reiterated the need to cater to Low Income-Communities, especially with the expansion of the company’s mandate – covering the whole of the Western Area under the Guma Valley Water Company Act of 2017.

The Guma MD spoke on the successes made under the just completed Freetown Water Supply Rehabilitation Project that was sponsored by the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), and the ongoing Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environment Revamping and Freetown Water Supply Master Plan Projects; all geared towards improving both infrastructure and access to the water supply.

Ing. Kpenge also highlighted some of the challenges faced by the company such as rampant cutting of pipes, people building on top of the transmission pipelines, and massive deforestation of the catchment areas. He thanked President Julius Maada Bio for his strong leadership in addressing the issue of deforestation in the catchment areas.

The Guma team was later taken on a conducted tour of the Ghana Water Company Limited Accra East Regional office where presentations on the Control Room, Call Centre, and Meter Shop were made.

The exchange visit will end on Friday 30th September 2022.

The Ghana Water/Guma/VEI Water Operators’ Partnership project is funded by the European Union and UN-Habitat for 3 years.