[Opinion] Free water? who says free water?

So I turned on my television hoping to catch the usual Sunday night movies, but guess what I got instead? As you guess the answer, check this; a shot of the Jubilee House at night, with the national anthem playing, then there he was, right there in my living room as he said “fellow Ghanaians“. President Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s President updating the nation on measures taken by his government to curb the Covid-19 menace.

As he spoke in his usual interesting accent , which I am still trying to figure out whether it is British or something else yet to be discovered, I could not help but scream, “there we go again” when he confidently said Ghanaians will get free water until the end of the year.

Social media was literally flooded with diverse opinions and reactions with many thinking exactly what I was thinking. What I was thinking can best be summed up in the question; “could this be yet again another of many of those failed promises?” Well for weeks this question lingered in my mind until in one of my phone-in segments on my show, Dwaboase on Power 97.9 MHz, a caller furiously confirmed my fears. “Kwame the President lied about the free water!” I have not had water for weeks” he screamed.

For a journalist who had his doubts when the President made  this promise, instinctively I vowed to follow up, as my callers’ claims amplified my suspicion, Producers called up Stanley Martey, the Communications Director of the Ghana Water Company. And yes you guessed right, he came to do his usual PR job which when read into simply means, he came to defend government whose deception had been affirmed by my callers and texters. Then the big press conference by the Association of Small Towns Water Supply Systems who were blunt, “government owes us, reasons many towns and villages don’t have water flowing through their pipes though President Akufo-Addo is campaigning that he has provided Ghanaians with free water”.

The funds President Akufo-Addo claimed he had sunk into the provision of free water is turning out to be a complete lie, I exclaimed in one of my monologues on radio! This statement sparked again several confirmations from many parts of the country

Small water schemes are responsible for providing water for small communities whilst Ghana Water Company supplies to urban areas.The President asked that the small water schemes should also provide free water for customers. “From April till now they have not paid for the water provided,” said the General Secretary of the association who appeared on my show on November 11, 2020. He told me in an angry voice that this is making the water schemes collapse as they could not operate without money. Some systems cannot pay staff salary or even undertake repair works. Then came the big one from Ahmed Issah, the Secretary of the association, that they were going to start billing customers, should government continue to refuse to pay them.

Bill us? This clearly will be like our terminal report or a lab report confirming the sickness that has hit Jubilee House; lies, lies and more lies !

God save mother Ghana

The writer, Kwame Minkah, is Host of Dwaboase on Power 97.9 FM

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