For the past two plus years since I have been residing in Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice in Region 5, consumers have been suffering from water stoppages at least twice daily, from between 12 noon and 1pm every day for a few hours, then the water cuts off from about 8.30 pm every night for the entire night until 5 am the next day.
Once I was told that water had to be conserved during the dry season. But we have not had a dry season here for a very long time, and even during the rainy season Guyana Water Inc. (GWI) still cuts off water to consumers during critical hours of the day. In addition, every time we have a blackout, which is often, the water cuts off until the power returns. This is totally unaccepted. I just called Customer Service at Onverwagt, and the young lady who answered the phone was very much in the dark. She was not aware of any water stoppage in the area. She took my phone number and promised to return my call.
I then called the only manager listed for Region 5 on the GWI’s website, Mr Loiden Henry. He was on his way to the office and was not aware that water was cut off from consumers in the Cotton Tree area. He said he would have to check with the GWI engineer and call me back. When asked why it is necessary to deny consumers the use of water twice daily, he apologetically explained that GWI is now working to provide a 24-hour service in Region 5 similar to what was done recently in New Amsterdam. After a few minutes, he returned my call and explained that GPI was experiencing power outages from GPL, and that they were using their own generators to pump water back into the tanks.
Editor, Guyana is a country where the annual rainfall averages 200 centimeters in the Berbice area. There are no other reasons other than incompetence and mismanagement, why the residents of Region 5 should not be getting 24-hour access to potable water from GWI.
To borrow a caption from one of Freddie Kissoon’s columns, “Living in Guyana is a living hell.”
The quality of service provided by the Guyana Water Inc. in Region 5 is very poor, and the Customer Service at Onverwagt is beyond lousy, it is simply nonexistent. If there is a problem in the field as is the case here, the engineer needs to inform customer service, so that a proper explanation could be given to the paying consumer whenever they call in. If the customer service representative is not armed with this information and therefore cannot satisfy the consumer with a proper explanation of the problem, it not only exposes the incompetence of the system, but it also restricts the functions of that employee to answering incoming telephone calls only.
It is now 11.00 am on Saturday, 10 February and the water has been turned off since 9.30 am. I’m still awaiting a return call from the Customer Service representative at Onverwagt. Kissoon is right, under the Granger Administration, living in Guyana is a living hell.
PPP/C Member of Parliament
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