Ghana Orders Plant Remain Open to Prevent Wider Water Shortage

Ghana’s state water company was ordered to keep open the plant that provides almost half of the capital with drinking supplies to prevent worsening shortages.

Ghana Water Co. will not be allowed to shut down the Kpong water plant northeast of Accra from Feb. 24 to Feb. 28 for maintenance, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission said today in an e-mailed statement. The facility pumps about 36 million gallons of water to Accra each day, while the only other plant for the city’s 4.5 million residents supplies 55 million gallons daily.

The capital of West Africa’s second-largest economy is already undergoing a water crisis because of damage to pipes that deliver water from the Weija facility west of Accra, the regulator said. Residents of Accra, located on the Gulf of Guinea, began stockpiling water this week ahead of the expected cuts next week.

Ghana Water spokesman Stanley Martey declined to comment after saying the company had yet to receive the order. Maintenance plans indicate “a failure to comply with duty of care and protection for consumers,” the regulator said in the statement. The water company “shall immediately suspend the intended shutdown of the Kpong Water Works.”

Ghana Water is unable to account for 55 percent of the water it produces because of leakage and theft, the company’s former managing director said last year. The water company had planned to store water at reservoirs near Accra next week while Kpong was shut down, allowing for the shortage to be mitigated.

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