The Ghana Water Company Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) of Sierra Leone, for a learning and twinning arrangement between the two companies.
The MoU takes immediate effect and will last for a period of two years, ending on the 4th December 2020 and subject to a renewal after a review or evaluation of the period by both parties.
The main objective of the MoU is organisational capacity building. This essentially means that the Ghana Water Company Limited will support the Guma Valley Water Company with the transfer of skills and knowledge through exchange of visits, short- and long-term placement of experts (staff of the utilities), participation in courses at the Ghana Water Training School at Weija, internship and attachments of young graduates and technicians.
The agreement will also help GVWC appreciate GWCLs policies and strategic direction, which the Governing Board and Management team has put in place for GWCL to reach its current stage of growth and success.
The GVWC is also expected to learn how GWCL has used technology and ICT to improve on metering, commercial and customer management, and reduction of non-revenue-water among others.
Major areas for this programme are: Water Utility Management, thus Technical Operations which include Water Resources and Catchment Protection; Planning and Development of Water and Ancillary Infrastructure; Asset Management; Production and Distribution of Water to Customers; Commercial and Customer Care; IT-based solutions; Performance Management and Management Information Systems Services to low-income communities; Human Resources and Administration and Capacity Development.
The two parties have set up a Standing Committee, co-chaired by heads of both institutions and made up of representatives from both sides who will oversee the successful implementation of this arrangement.
The MoU was signed by the Managing Director of GWCL and Board Chair of GVWC at the 4th National WASH Conference of Sierra Leone, where President Julius Maada Bio delivered the keynote address.
Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) was established in 1961 as a private entity and is currently fully-owned by the state, and it has the primary responsibility for providing water services to Freetown and its environs in Sierra Leone with a population estimated at 1.5 million.
GVWC currently faces critical operational challenges: including aging infrastructure, low revenues, and lack of significant investments for rehabilitation and expansion of its aged infrastructure. It also lacks resources to invest in its human capital, which has posed serious drawbacks to its service delivery.
On the other hand, GWCL is a fully state-owned utility company responsible for potable water supply to all urban communities in Ghana. The GWCL has over the past few years undergone tremendous improvement in its performance, based essentially on internally-driven reforms.
Among its several assets, GWCL has a Technical Training School that provides both residential and non-residential Vocational and Technical Training to its permanent employees, apprentices and other interested persons.