December 10, 2018
Guma Valley Water Company Wednesday, December 5, signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (Learning and Twinning Arrangement) with the Ghana Water Company at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.
The main objective of the learning and twinning arrangement is for organisational capacity building through the exchange of knowledge between the two utilities.
The collaboration is focused on major areas like technical operations, commercial and customer care, IT- based solutions, performance management and management information systems, service to low income communities, and human resources administration and capacity development, said release from Guma Water Company.
Acting Managing Director of Guma Valley Water Company, Maada S. Kpenge, said the institution is mandated to provide sustainable water supply to Freetown and the Western Area in line with the government’s development agenda, adding that Guma was committed to providing access to safe, affordable, and sustainable water supply for all by 2018.
He said both utility companies, though existing in different countries, have similar goals and similar challenges.
“Both institutions have as main goal, the provision of universal access to safely managed and sustainable water supply services. Both institutions are challenged with addressing mounting environmental difficulties and issues relating to the changing climate.
“Over the next two years, staff from Guma will be fully embedded within Ghana Water Company Ltd, through experiential learning and the sharing of technical information. We hope our staff will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to quickly facilitate the transformation of Guma to one of the top performing utilities in the sub-region,” he said.
He said that in June this year, they were privileged to visit some of Ghana Water facilities, which he described as state-of-the-art.
Managing Director of Ghana Water Company, Ing. Dr Cliford A. Braimah, narrated that in June this year, they hosted a team from Guma for two weeks and that during the visit they exposed the team to the governance structures of Ghana water sector, and placed their operational systems and human capitals to Guma’s disposal, which enabled them to derive optimum experience of the processes that have made Ghana Water Company a world-class utility.
He said: “This arrangement has come at an opportune time when Guma has successfully implemented several performance improvement programs (PIP) supervised by our own staff and the results has been phenomenal.
“We are proud to say that the current level of technological adoption in Ghana Water is pervasive in all our departments, and helping us to be efficient and effective.
“We are happy to provide our fullest support to meet our obligations of this MOU without any monetary compensation to demonstrate our commitment to strengthen the bond between the two countries and utilities, and to help each other succeed.”
In his keynote address, the Minister of Water Resources Dr. Jonathan Tengbeh thanked Ghana Water Company and the MCC for their support.
“Freetown is a challenge in providing water. This happens at a very strategic time at Guma because we are planning to expand water facilities,” he said.
He said the signing of the MOU was a good move by Guma and pleaded for government’s support to the initiative.
CEO Millennium Challenge Coordinating Unit (MCCU), Mrs Ndeye Koroma, said that the MOU was a tangible step towards realising the goals of the WASH sector. She said integral to the country’s ability to exceed SDGs was the ability of Guma to be able to deliver water to the citizens of Freetown.
“When we started threshold programme one of the key things was to ensure the financial viability of Guma to build it institutional capacity, and as we embarked on that journey we quickly realised that we are not going to get the full sustainable impact by bringing in experts to work with Guma,” she said.
She said they have seen the impact of the teams that were coming to work with Guma, stating that it was more spectacular to see that “we don’t have to go to Europe for technical assistance, but to our neighbours in Ghana.”