The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is reporting an increase in water consumption across the country, given the current circumstances
Figures as recent as last Friday showed an increase of more than 200,000 cubic metres per day, representing an overall 20%.
During a live Facebook discussion “Water and COVID-19” this morning, the company’s Executive Director of Operations Dwayne Shako said GWI understands that the increased water usage at this time is necessary.
“That is expected. However, because we are not reading meters at this time, we are unable to see which customers are consuming more. However, this may also be since there has been a lot of sanitising in places like New Amsterdam and Georgetown, where the councils are cleaning the streets.”
As part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Public Health Ministry has been encouraging the frequent washing of hands and cleaning of surfaces.
Despite challenges, Shako said the company has been working to ensure that water is available to every home along with squatter settlements. He reminded that VAT on water has been removed, while disconnections have been put on hold.
In the meantime, GWI is still encouraging persons who can pay for their services to do, since the utility company still has to carry out its operations.
Shako explained that the cost of chemicals to keep the water purified costs some $60 million each month alone. “That is the challenge we are facing. We have to ensure that the water keeps flowing, that the water is microbiologically safe and all of this comes at a cost.”
To ensure that the company provides what it is mandated to, Shako said: “customers have to understand that the service comes at a cost and if that cost is not recouped, it must come from somewhere.”
Customer Relation Officer Andrea Khan said payments are understandably slow and encouraged persons to utilise all of the convenience options to pay their bills. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]