GWCL starts exercise to recoup ¢800m arrears
The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has started a nationwide revenue mobilisation exercise to collect all arrears owed by customers.
The company is out to collect about ¢800 million in debts as of January this year, up from ¢684 million in debts that stood on the company’s books as of January 2022.
This was when in September 2022, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) increased the average end-user tariff for water by 21.55 per cent, increasing the debt situation to ¢800 million.
Out of the amount, private companies and individuals account for 90 per cent, while government institutions account for 10 per cent.
According to the GWCL, whereas the government institutions had been making efforts to settle their debt, consumers in the private sector had been quoting unfavourable business conditions for the accumulation of their debts.
In view of that, the Managing Director of GWCL, Dr Clifford Braimah, yesterday joined a revenue mobilisation task force team from its Accra East District to collect or disconnect private industries that owed the company.
The team visited the D.U. Fresh Company, Kata Company Limited, Printex Limited, Interplast Limited and Waka Building Limited.
Interplast Limited was in good standing, but Waka Building Limited, Printex Limited and Kata Company Limited proceeded to settle part of their arrears.
However, D.U. Fresh Company, which owed ¢163,000, was disconnected for failing to settle its arrears.
Dr Braimah noted that the affected customers would be made to settle arrears in full and pay reconnection fees before they would be reconnected.
The GWCL MD said the enforcement was successful considering how a majority of the industries were willing to settle their arrears.
He mentioned that the GWCL would not tolerate customers who refused to settle their arrears with the excuse that they did not have water flowing through their taps.
“We are not a prepaid company; we are a postpaid company.
This means that we collect bills on water consumed,” he said, explaining that what had been consumed involved the usage of chemicals and electricity by the GWLC.
Dr Braimah, however, urged the company’s customers to utilise its online platforms such as the GWCL App or pay via mobile money for convenience.
He expressed the hope that the GWCL would mobilise more than 50 per cent of money owed it nationwide by the end of April.
At Tema, the Deputy Managing Director of GWCL in charge of Operations, Peter De-veer, said arrears as of April 3, 2023, was ¢140 million.
He noted that it had become expensive to produce water because of activities such as illegal mining, sand winning and farming either inside or close to the river bodies.
Mr De-veer said the GWCL used the foreign exchange to procure chemicals to treat the polluted water to meet World Health Organisation standards.
He noted that such activities increased the turbidity of the rivers where GWCL extracted water for treatment.