The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown, is currently renting portable toilets to the tune of $82,080 for each unit per month. However, it has been revealed that a brand-new toilet can be purchased for the same price or less.
Kaieteur News has confirmed that a brand-new portable toilet can be purchased for a minimum price of US$420 ($84,000) with the availability of “a quantity price” component (the more you buy, the less you pay) from many online wholesale dealers.
This means that that cost of one of these toilets is lower than what it is being rented for per month.
A waste management company told Kaieteur News that if an entity has its own portable unit, the cost would be approximately $26,000 to clear the facility per month. Clearing the facility means emptying the refuse, washing the facility and replacing it with the necessary chemicals and items.
The council would have racked up a bill of close to $2M alone, for the month of March this year with a subsequent $400,000 paid to waste management companies for April.
This revelation would fly in the face of the M&CC’s numerous claims of being cash-strapped.
It would also come at a time when the David Granger-led administration is promoting cost-cutting measures at state ministries and agencies throughout Guyana.
Rules have been set in motion for lights to be turned off at state institutions after working hours, and the recycling of selected stationery.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, at the recent post-Cabinet Press Briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency last week, noted that it was imperative that government agencies and ministries cut costs to ensure that monies allocated to these entities, “can last longer”.
The rental of portable toilets by the M&CC goes back many years and several commentators via “Letters to the Editor” and other fora, would have made calls for is cessation.
Calls would have also been made for the council to build its own sanitary facilities.
To date, the council is still shelling out massive chunks of funds to mainly two waste management companies.
A City Hall official – who requested anonymity – told Kaieteur News, yesterday, that it was “unconscionable” to rent a facility for a month at a price for which that item can be bought.
“It would mean that every time the council pays rental for a (portable) toilet, it could acquire a brand-new facility. It is unconscionable. It is like renting a car for $2 million per month when the same car can be bought for that price.
“This has been going on for a very long time. Imagine the amount of money that would have been paid since last year March.
Town Clerk, Royston King, has one of these facilities which is being rented to the tune of $80,080 per month on his premises.
According to sources, the portable toilet is being used by the security guards stationed at King’s Canal Place, South Ruimveldt Park home. This is more than the guard’s monthly earnings.
The table below illustrates where these facilities were placed, how many were placed, and the price that was paid for the month of March, 2017:
The Ministry of Education is also renting portable toilets for security guards. But it is paying $20,000 per month for the rental of a portable toilet for security personnel stationed at its Permanent Secretary, Vibert Welch’s Bent Street, Georgetown residence.
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