Jul 05, 2017 News
– Revenue to assist in expanding services
In an effort to maintain and expand water services in Region Nine, the Guyana Water Incorporated will, at the end of this month, begin billing commercial customers in Lethem.
During a consultative meeting organised by GWI with businessmen and women from the Lethem area on Friday, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles said the revenue garnered will be pumped back into expanding water services to those who are without a constant supply of this precious resource. The venue was the Indigenous People’s Conference Hall, Managing Director of GWI,
“GWI is continuously looking for communities without service…funds are needed for chlorination, maintaining infrastructure and for paying staff”, the Managing Director stated.
He added that the water is chlorinated and tested on a regular basis at a mini lab, which was established in the Region as a means of preventing water borne diseases. Dr. Van West-Charles also made a commitment to publish all water testing results so as to uphold residents’ confidence the quality of water produced by the utility.
Currently, water is distributed to residents for approximately 14 hours a day from four pump stations. However, it is the company’s intention to gradually move to supply 24 hours of service on a daily basis.
Dr. Van West-Charles further assured Regional officials and residents that he will seek to ensure the monies received are invested into the Region.
In this first phase of billing, only commercial customers, all of whom are metered, will be charged for use of water services. In Lethem, there are approximately 160 commercial customers and over 850 residential customers. The commercial rate in Lethem is set at a figure that is less than the domestic rate on the coastland. Customers are charged per cubic meter which is equivalent to approximately 220 gallons of water, roughly half of a black tank. The tariff being used for commercial customers in Lethem is $96.60 per cubic meter.
Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Dawn Hastings-Williams, who also addressed the residents, emphasized the importance of revenue in funding the maintenance, management and upgrading of the water system in the Region.
She noted that while the Government is investing heavily into the water sector to improve the economic and living standards of all, citizens’ input is necessary. The Minister highlighted the costs incurred by GWI to function effectively in providing a service. In this vein, she warned against tampering of water meters and service connections.
GWI’s Customer Relations Manager, Andrea Khan, added, “Since GWI is not a profit making organization, there is still a need to recover costs that will aid in offsetting our expenses. Therefore, our valued commercial customers who have been benefitting from these improved services in Lethem will be billed accordingly.” (GWI)
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