…Sherriff St. site identified
Faced with criticisms over a monthly multi-million rental bill, Guyana Water Inc. (GWI) plans to complete construction of a new secretariat on Sheriff Street over the next three years.
Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles told Kaieteur News that the design for the building is nearing completion, but construction will be delayed as the company seeks to acquire technical tools that will benefit expansion.
“We have the space allocated. As soon as we are finished the design we will proceed. We have some other things that we have to do. The company has no crane. We have been renting cranes, a rig and other basic tools that a water utility should have. We need to prioritize those issues, but we have staff and the staff has got to be housed,” Van West-Charles stated.
The area indentified by GWI was last month the centre of a major operation when the company dismantled a fence which was found to be encroaching on the company’s reserve near the Lamaha Canal in Georgetown.
Documents reviewed by Kaieteur News had indicated that the water utility company was spending $2.5M monthly, inclusive of electricity, by utilizing private properties as offices. The company was spending nearly $400,000 to rent a two-storey house in the upscale neighbourhood of Section ‘K’ Campbellville to house staff from the Infrastructure Planning and Implementation Department.
Also housed at the location are employees in the Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure Improvement Program (WSSIP) which is part of the Inter-Development Bank-funded program for Guyana. For that section of the property, GWI pays electricity of $97,037.
Based on the most recent information received by Kaieteur News, the water utility company paid as much as $600,000 monthly to rent a Da Silva Street, Newtown, Georgetown premises.
GWI also paid approximately $198,138 monthly for electricity along with rent for the latter property, which houses the internal audit and water quality department employees.
Also in Georgetown, GWI is renting a Lamaha Gardens residence to house the Managing Director’s Secretariat, media and communications department, human resources department and the strategic planning evaluation and monitoring unit.
Electricity cost is pegged at $85,702.
GWI’s Manager, customer services and customer relations staff are housed at Station Street, Kitty, which the company rents from an individual for $60,000 per month.
Outside of Georgetown, GWI dishes out a combined $460,000 monthly for rental. The company rents one building each in New Amsterdam, Berbice; Springlands, Corentyne, Berbice; Anna Regina, Essequibo; Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice; Bartica, Region 7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni); and Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu/ Upper Essequibo).
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