In view of heavy losses…

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GWI making two-fold approach to revenue collection
THE operational cost of Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is twice its revenue collection.
As a result, the country’s water sector is heavily subsidised by the Government. Housing and Water Minister Mr. Irfaan Ali disclosed this during an interview with the Guyana Chronicle last week.
He sought to highlight the magnitude of the investment made by the administration for the provision of this important service.
“As a matter of fact, 60 per cent of the operations cost come from subsidy that the Government would give to the entity. This 60 per cent of the operations cost is electricity. So you can see, energy is the largest single expenditure at the company level,” he outlined.
In addition to that, he noted that GWI’s large Capital Investment Programme is also heavily funded by the Government.
“This year we will embark on drilling more than 20 new wells at an average cost of $65M per well, so you can understand the level of investment that is required to get these infrastructure in place,” Ali explained.
In an effort to mitigate losses incurred by the utility, Minister Ali announced that GWI will be embarking on a campaign to clamp down on illegal connections and operations, which contribute to operational losses.
This includes the closing down of illegal wash bays which have “sprouted up” in and around the city.
“We are asking persons in the community to report this because this also contributes to operational loss, as most of these businesses use illegal water connections,” he emphasised.
Ali assured that customers no longer need to be anxious over GWIs revenue collection method as the company is seeking to adapt more “humane measures” in executing this task.
Giving further details about the revenue collection, GWI National Revenue Manager, Mr. Earle Aaron reiterated that over the last two to three years, the utility has adopted a more “people friendly” approach to doing this.
He said: “What we have been doing is working with customers based on their circumstances. Many have received bills that require some level of correction and they are afraid to come in, because of this, they have many sleepless nights thinking about these bills, when, in actual fact, they can come in and have it addressed.”
Aaron pointed out that those illegal connections to the water mains are another major problem, aside from line and revenue loss, they pose health risks to customers.
“Many times persons attempt to conceal their illegal connections in drains which contain bacteria that seep into the lines and can be dangerous if consumed.
“We are appealing to customers to come and let us talk. We are open and willing to work with you,” Aaron appealed.